Pailin provincial authorities turned over two women aged 17 and 18 to their parents on Friday after they and an underage girl were rescued from a man attempting to traffic them to Thailand.
The family reunion comes after Battambang Provincial Court charged the 24-year-old suspect and placed him in pre-trial detention last Monday on charges of raping a minor and human trafficking.
Chief of the crime office with Kamrieng district police Nget Vana on Sunday identified the suspect as Chuob Sophany from Kampong Cham province’s Batheay district.
He said Sophany was arrested last Monday in Kamrieng district’s Boeung Raing commune following a complaint from the underage girl’s mother.
“According to the girl’s statements to police, she and Sophany had exchanged chats on Facebook over two weeks before they met,” Vana said.
The complaint from the mother dated January 24 asked police to arrest Sophany and bring him to justice.
It stated that on January 16, her daughter, aged under 15, met Sophany in Battambang town, where she was then lured to Phnom Penh.
In Phnom Penh, they went to a nightclub to have dinner and drinks. When she was drunk, Sophany took her to a guesthouse and raped her three times.
“We told the girl to make an appointment with Sophany in Kamrieng and when he arrived we arrested him when he was attempting to take the other two women from Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district to Thailand,” Vana said.
Sophany was then sent to court, charged and jailed, while the three women were sent to an NGO’s rehabilitation centre in Pailin province, he noted.
Pailin Provincial Department of Women Affairs director Chan Thavy said her officials visited the women at the centre on Friday.
The women from Kampot province told them that on January 25, Sophany called them on Facebook messenger to collect a gift in Kampot city.
When they reached the city, Sophany lured them to visit Kirirom National Park in Kampong Speu province before heading to Phnom Penh.
After that, he brought them to Battambang and then attempted to transport them to Thailand, but Kamrieng police arrested him.
“Sophany could have trafficked the women to Thailand if police did not arrest him,” Thavy said.
She noted that the two older girls were handed over to their parents in Kampot while the underage one remains at the rehabilitation centre.