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Vietnamese woman and man jailed over coffee-shop brothel

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a Vietnamese man and woman were jailed after being found guilty of procuring prostitution for a brothel they ran out of a coffee shop in Daun Penh district.

Un Samnang, 23, and Chang Ty Hok, 53, were arrested at their coffee shop in Chaktomuk commune in October last year, where police discovered 25 Vietnamese prostitutes.

Presiding Judge Sous Sam Ath sentenced Un Samnang to 10 years in prison and Chang Ty Hok to five years.

Defence Lawyer Nach Try declined to comment after yesterday’s hearing, but Kim Ly La, a lawyer who represented six of the Vietnamese prostitutes, applauded the decision.

“It is acceptable and just for my clients, who did not ask for any compensation from the two accused because they voluntarily worked as prostitutes, and have agreed to return to Vietnam,” she said.

Both defendants denied the allegations in a hearing held August 2. Un Samnang, who also holds a Cambodian identification card, told the court that although he had accepted US$80 to allow the coffee shop’s proprietors to rent the facility under his name, he was not involved in the sale of sex. An elderly Khmer Krom woman named Ky Nang was responsible for the criminal activity, he said.

But Sous Sam Ath rejected the testimony, saying that investigators could not find anyone by that name.

Chang Ty Hok testified during the hearing that she had worked only as a cleaner at the coffee shop, a claim that the judge said was “not credible”.

‘Illegal’ migrant
In a separate case yesterday, the Municipal Court sentenced a Nigerian man to a total of six years in prison after finding him guilty of robbery, drug possession, damaging police property and living in Cambodia illegally.

Charles Uy, 27, was arrested from his rented house in Meanchey district in March after a complaint was filed against him by three other Nigerian men. Uy said during his trial on August 2 that the complaint had been filed in revenge after he warned the men about fighting in his house the previous evening.

Judge Sous Sam Ath also ordered Uy to pay 1.5 million riels (US$358) in compensation to the three men, and ordered him to be deported following his release from prison.

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