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Two arrested in bar raid

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A guard keeps watch on Thursday at the Iris Bar on Street 136 in Phnom Penh. Police arrested the bar’s Korean owner on Wednesday night on suspicion of aggravated procurement of prostitution.

MUNICIPAL and district police raided the Iris Bar on Street 136 and arrested its Korean owner and another supervisor on Wednesday night, following complaints from female employees that he was threatening to fire them if they did not sleep with customers.

Keo Thea, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Anti-human Trafficking Bureau who led the arrest, said Thursday that 20 of the employees were taken for questioning after the raid.

"[The bar girls] confessed that many had been forced to sleep with customers and to present receipts as evidence; otherwise, they were forced to quit their jobs," Keo Thea said.

"A few bar girls had been fired from work already."

He added that the case had been forwarded on to Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and that the owner and supervisor had both been charged with aggravated procurement of prostitution.

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