Five brokers saw their convictions upheld yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Court of Appeal for trafficking 20 Cambodian nationals into Thailand, but legal experts say such convictions for trafficking in Cambodia are still far too rare.
While Judge Chan Madyna upheld the men’s 2010 convictions, he shaved two and three years off their respective sentences.
The court heard the men charged their recruits 2,000 baht each for the journey across the border. After they were arrested, police rescued 20 men who were later released.
The brokers were previously convicted by Battambang Provincial Court – two for selling, buying or exchanging a person with purpose and three for acting as accomplices.
But Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour program, said criminal convictions for brokers and human traffickers are still uncommon – and seldom target those at the top.
“So far we have found out trafficking persons also involves police officers working on the ... border, but we never see those police officers or military officers prosecuted,” he said.
“This needs to happen … but we always see the small fish, the less responsible people prosecuted, the top management are often still at large.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org