Four human traffickers who sent three Cambodian women to China for marriage were sentenced to between two and a half and seven years’ imprisonment yesterday, after their trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court concluded.
The quartet were also each fined 2 million riel (about $500) and ordered to pay compensation of 4 million riel to each of the victims.
They were first arrested in December 2013, when Chinese national Liu Shiping, 35, arrived in Phnom Penh to pick up the three women, aged 19 to 23, who were in the company of Kheang Sorphea, 28, Kheang Sengly, 31, and Doeuk Meth, 52.
“They were arrested by our police inside the airport while they were sending girls departing from Cambodia to China,” said Municipal Anti-Human Trafficking chief Colonel Keo Sothea.
According to presiding judge Ly Sok Leng, the four were charged with “the act of selling, buying or exchanging a person” and “providing false documents” under Cambodia’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Law.
Shiping, who has claimed to be a tourist looking for a wife himself but was accused of paying $1,600 to each of the victims’ parents, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, as was Meth, who was accused of transporting the women to obtain travel documents.
Sorphea, who reportedly admitted to involvement in at least 30 other cases in Kampong Speu province, and Sengly, his sister, were given seven years for offering translation services and verifying the victims’ virginity.