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Women flee from Thai karaoke parlour slavery

Two Cambodian women escaped Thailand on Friday a week after being trafficked across the border and sold into sex slavery in a Thai karaoke parlour, according to the rights group Adhoc and Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection officials.

Tan Kimrany, an officer for Adhoc’s Women’s Rights program, said yesterday that the two filed complaints last Friday after allegedly being tricked by a married pair of brokers named Nuon and Nang, who had promised them jobs in Phnom Penh.

“They worked from 4pm until 3am, but they did not get a single cent from the karaoke parlour owner,” she said.

“Their boss threatened to beat them until they died if they attempted to escape, and if they wanted to go back home they had to work for one to two years to pay the debt,” she added.

One victim told the Post that she had known the brokers for a long time, and had always had a good relationship with them.

“We had good communication with each other for three years already, and I travelled from my house in Takeo province to visit them in Phnom Penh often, but I do not know why they did that to me,” she said. “They sold me to the karaoke parlour.”

According to the victim, the two fled through the forest for five hours before making it to the Cham Yeam border station, where they recounted their ordeal to authorities and filed formal complaints.

By the time she reached the border, the victim said, she was weak from hunger and severely dehydrated.

You Polivuth, provincial deputy police chief in charge of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection, said yesterday that the brokers are the same ones accused in a case last month.

“I sent the document to the court already and I am awaiting the arrest warrant from the court,” she said.

According to a complaint letter obtained by the Post, one victim is suing the brokers for 20,000 baht (US$630), in addition to asking that they be punished according to the law.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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