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Coffee shop/brothel owner seeks leniency

Coffee shop/brothel owner seeks leniency

Coffee wasn’t the only pick-me-up being served at a Phnom Penh coffee shop.

Un Theang, 61, confessed at a Phnom Penh Municipal Court hearing yesterday to operating a brothel in her Tuol Kork district café. She was arrested in an April police raid, during which authorities found three Cambodian sex workers and a number of used condoms.

Sok Pov, 22, one of the prostitutes, said she gave the shop owner 5,000 riel per customer and charged each solicitor 20,000 riel ($5).

Prostitution is illegal in Cambodia and Un Theang faces between two and five years in jail. By confessing to her charges, Un Theang hoped her sentence could be commuted.

“I did not force them to have sex with customers in my shop,” she said. “They [did] it voluntarily.”

A verdict will be delivered on September 30.