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Karaoke club owner accused of forcing girls into prostitution

Karaoke club owner accused of forcing girls into prostitution

THE owner of a karaoke club in Siem Reap province was arrested by police on Monday following a raid that discovered 13 girls confined to the club’s premises.

During a raid on Hang Pich karaoke bar, in Siem Reap’s Thvay Dangkom commune, local police said they discovered the girls – some of whom were as young as 13 – who they believed were being forced into prostitution.

Siem Reap provincial deputy police Chief Um Amara said he believed the girls were confined to the club and were forced to provide sexual services to patrons.

Two of the 13 girls were around 13 years of age, he added, and had both been recently reported missing from their homes in Phnom Penh and Poipet town, in Banteay Meanchey province.

“Thirteen girls were detained and another three were released,” he said, adding that some of the girls remained in police custody for their own safety.

Um Amara said the case of the karaoke parlour owner, who is being held at Siem Reap provincial police headquarters, was being prepared and would be sent to the court shortly.

A Siem Reap deputy prosecutor declined to comment in detail, except to say that owner Kim Chhay was expected to be charged by the court within three days.

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