Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court hears appeal of China bride trafficker

Court hears appeal of China bride trafficker

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The appeal of a woman sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for trafficking a teenager to China was heard on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Court hears appeal of China bride trafficker

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the appeal of a woman sentenced in Banteay Meanchey province in 2015 to 15 years imprisonment for trafficking a Cambodian teenager to China for marriage.

The lawyer representing the convicted woman said she merely offered information to the victims and did not help them to travel to China.

At the courtroom on Wednesday, Chin Punleu, 33, also known as Norn, told the judge that she was caught up in the case because her cousin called her from China while a woman named San was visiting her house.

Punleu claimed that San said to her that, since she had a relative in China, she would like to receive help in getting two women – who were daughters of another woman called Pheap – to work in China.

“I told San that no one was looking to hire people in China, but I said, ‘If you want to know for sure, I can give you my cousin’s phone number’,” Punleu said.

She said that after giving San her cousin’s phone number, the two started to communicate.

After that, the woman named Pheap, who is the mother of the two girls aged 17 and 26, asked Punleu to take her daughters to Phnom Penh to apply for a passport, she said.

However, the immigration officer refused their request because they already had passports, having previously worked in Malaysia.

Pheap then asked Punleu’s cousin to arrange for the two women to fly to China.

“Before deciding to travel, the victims had video chats with the men in China. I ask the court to free me because I have cancer of the neck and have four children to care for,” Punleu said.

She said after the younger sister had lived in China for 10 months, she returned to Cambodia in 2016.

Pheap, the women’s mother, did not have enough money to pick her up, Punleu said, so she asked an NGO to help and take her home. It was then that the NGO filed a lawsuit against Punleu.

Punleu said that San received $2,000, but she did not receive any money herself.

Punleu said on August 15, 2017, the provincial court sentenced her to 15 years in prison and ordered her to pay five million riel ($1,233) to the victim.

Punleu took her case to the Appeal Court but, on March 25 last year, the court upheld the previous sentence.

Prosecutor Chum Samban said that during police questioning, the victim said Punleu had received $2,300 from her cousin in China.

Samban said Punleu admitted at the lower court’s hearing that she received the money. “Therefore, I would like the court to look at their answers and follow the law,” he said.

Defence lawyer Luy Sothy said that her client only offered information to the victim. “My client didn’t send the girl to anyone. And the daughters also told their mother that they had Chinese husbands.

“Why wouldn’t [the mother] have complained at the time? I would like the court to release my client,” she said.

Judge Kong Srim said the court would announce a verdict on June 5.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,