Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan ‘sex traffickers’ charged

Japan ‘sex traffickers’ charged

Lim Leakena, 28, who was implicated in a sex trafficking ring, is carried out of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after she fainted during a hearing.
Lim Leakena, 28, who was implicated in a sex trafficking ring, is carried out of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after she fainted during a hearing. Hong Menea

Japan ‘sex traffickers’ charged

Three suspects arrested on Saturday for trafficking women into sex slavery in Japan were all charged yesterday for their alleged involvement in the scheme, which one victim yesterday said had left her “deeply emotionally harmed”.

Ly Sophana, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that Fukui Susumu, 52; his Cambodian wife, Lim Leakena, 28; and Cambodian national Seng Chandy, 34, were all charged under Article 12 of the Anti-Trafficking Law, which states that human trafficking committed by an organised group carries a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years.

“Judge Leang Samnat has decided to put them in pre-trial detention,” said Sophana, who was unable to say when the trial would begin.

General Pol Pithey, director of the capital’s anti-human trafficking police, said yesterday that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted the survivors - a claim one victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, denied yesterday.

“The NGO just verbally claimed to help but we haven’t seen any help yet,” the woman said.

IOM could not be reached yesterday.

The victim also described her ordeal in Japan an experience she said she would never share with her family.

“I am deeply emotionally harmed,” she said.

“Nobody in my family knows what happened, I will keep it until I die,” she said, claiming she would rather have committed suicide in Japan. “My family did not support me going to Japan, but I insisted because we are in debt,” said the woman, who was approached by Susumu and his associates.

“They said the salary was $3,000 a month, $5,000 if I do good work. Who would not want that?”

But, instead of the cushy job at a nail salon that she was promised, she was locked in a house with no internet connection and forced to sleep with restaurant customers.

She said she tried to resist in whatever way she could.

“Even if I didn’t bathe or brush my teeth, or if I purposefully made my hair messy, they would still make me work and serve,” she said.

The woman said she and her companions never received a salary, only meagre tips that they scrounged together to buy groceries as a group.

Eventually, one of the women managed to contact the Cambodian Embassy in Japan, prompting an investigation that freed the victims and led to two arrests in Japan, along with the three in Cambodia.

While she was happy that the perpetrators were caught, the woman yesterday said she wanted compensation for her experience.

“I worked there for three months so I should get $9,000,” she said, referring to her promised salary.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges