TWO Taiwanese nationals and six Cambodians have been arrested in another trafficking
case after an August 30 raid on a Phnom Penh hotel.
Chen Hsi Chou, the owner of the Eng Hui Karaoke on Street 271 in Phnom Penh and fellow
Taiwanese Lu Fa Chai were arrested at the Beauty Inn Hotel in the presence of 20
women who police suspect were destined to be sent to Taiwan as sex workers under
the guise of marrying Taiwanese men.
"We've arrested them on suspicion of human trafficking because they'd organized
a system that had buyers, sellers and middlemen." Rean Vicheat told reporters
at a press conference on Aug 31 at Phnom Penh Tourist Police Headquarters. "Some
Taiwanese [who arrange to marry Cambodian women] actually are good husbands, but
some are human traffickers who sell the women into prostitution in Taiwan."
Six Cambodian women were presented to reporters as "procurers" who had
been hired by Lu and Chen to recruit the 20 women from the provinces on the understanding
that they'd arrange for them to be married to Taiwanese men.
Yim Po, the Executive Director of the Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's
Rights, told the Post that Taiwanese sexual trafficking under the guise of arranged
marriages had been a matter of concern for women and child protection advocates for
the past three years.
"We've been aware of Taiwanese using false marriages to trick Cambodian women
into prostitution," Po said. "We are aware of at least 50 women in the
past year who've been trafficked to Taiwan in this manner."
Chen told the Post that he had done nothing wrong and that his mistake had been "a
mistake", while Lu said only that he was "a tourist".
Chen's landlord, Chin Thophot, told the Post that Chen ran the Eng Hui Karaoke Club
in partnership with Duong Eng, a military policeman and that the charges against
Chen were possibly connected to an extortion attempt by local police officials.