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Fugitive directors face seven years in prison

Fugitive directors face seven years in prison

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Men Socheat (right), the marketing officer and broker for Champa Manpower Group, was sentenced yesterday to four years in jail. Photo by: Hong Menea
A director and a former director of recruitment company Champa Manpower Group were sentenced in absentia to seven years’ jail yesterday for detaining three female workers in Phnom Penh last year.

Chaing Sinath, presiding judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, ordered that company director Sos Math, 36, and former director Van Sak Rany, 32, be arrested.

She said the firm’s marketing officer and broker, Men Socheat, 29, who has been in custody for about seven months, was sentenced to four years in jail but would serve only 16 more months of his sentence.

The men were charged on April 11 after three women said they had been detained by the company in Russei Keo district’s Chroy Changvar commune for about three months while waiting to work in Malaysia.

Sos Math and Van Sak Rany’s whereabouts are unknown, but Van Sak Rany’s defence lawyer, Kem Borawin, said he would discuss an appeal with his client.

“My client was not involved in this case because he had already sold his company’s licence to Sos Math,” he said.

Men Socheat said he would appeal against the verdict.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Centre, welcomed the verdict but was frustrated that two of the men were still on the run.

“Action should have been taken sooner,” Moeun Tola said.

“They have arrested only the small fish; the big fish have managed to flee.”

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