Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South African jailed 10 years

South African jailed 10 years

South African jailed 10 years

A 61-YEAR-OLD South African man was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday on cross-border human trafficking charges after he attempted to sell two Vietnamese sisters from Cambodia to a brothel in Thailand earlier this year.

Blake Mogamata Tape was arrested on September 17 at the Waterview guesthouse in Daun Penh district’s Wat Phnom commune following a complaint from the mother of the victims filed after one of her daughters called her from a brothel in Bangkok, where they were reportedly being held against their will.

Chen Da, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection unit, told the court yesterday that 46-year-old Choeung Thidav, the mother of the victims, lodged a complaint with police on September 16 saying that her daughters had called her for help from Bangkok.

The women became afraid  that they had been sold to the brothel when, after traveling with Tape to Thailand, he allegedly left them at the site and disappeared, claiming he was going to get visas for them to live in South Africa.

Judge Ker Sakhorn sentenced Tape to 10 years in prison after convicting him of attempting to sell humans across borders under the Kingdom’s old human trafficking law, rather than of the initial charge of unlawful removal for cross-border transfer under the new human trafficking law.

The judge also ordered Tape to pay 6 million riel (US$1,477) in compensation to the victims’ mother in addition to a 5 million riel fine. Tape has one month to appeal the conviction.

“The court’s conviction is just and acceptable, although the compensation was not our former request of US$5,000,” one of the victims said following the hearing yesterday.

“I will take some money to immigration officials at the Poipet border crossing in Banteay Meanchey to thank them for their tireless efforts to free us from Thailand and arrest the man.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all