Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a former anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection chief and three Cambodian-Vietnamese nationals to jail terms of between seven and eight years for running a prostitut-ion racket in Phnom Penh.
Three of the four, including 41-year-old Eam Rattana, the former anti-human trafficking chief, were sentenced in absentia.
“The court had found that Eam Rattana was guilty of being an accomplice to an illegal prostitution operation. So it is decided to sentence him to seven years in jail and order for his arrest,” presiding judge Duch Kimsorn said.
He added that Cambod-ian-Vietnamese national Sok Heng had been arrested by members of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile police department when they raided his coffee shop on April 8 this year.
Eam Rattana, and Sok Heng’s accomplices, Ly Mao and Nguven Yaing Tung, escaped, however.
Eam Rattana, Sok Heng, Ly Mao, Nguven Yaing Tung and their defence lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But during his trial on December 14, Sok Heng denied the allegations against him, saying he had not been involved with, or co-ordinated, illegal prostitution operations.
“My shop had offered only coffees and soft drinks, and there was never any sex services provided inside it.
“I think the accusations are an injustice for me, because I have not committed any crimes,” he said.