Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Massage raid rescues 21 girls

Massage raid rescues 21 girls

Massage raid rescues 21 girls

In one of the largest stings of alleged brothels this year, officials raided two massage parlours in Phnom Penh on Thursday night and rescued 21 girls believed to have been trafficked, officials said.

The raid was conducted by Cambodia’s anti-trafficking police unit, juvenile protection officers and evangelical anti-trafficking NGO International Justice Missions.

A municipal police officer who was involved in the raids but declined to be named said police took 29 people out of both locations during simultaneous raids.

At the first parlour on Street 163 in Daun Penh district, officers rescued 10 sex workers and arrested three men. At the second location on Sothearos Boulevard in Chamkarmon district, police removed 11 sex workers and five men.

“We have been following this case with police for several months,” said John Roberts, director of IJM’s investigations unit. He added that police have not yet verified how many of the rescued girls are underage, but as many as 40 per cent of the sex workers in Cambodia are minors, according to NGO End Child Prostitution, Abuse and Trafficking in Cambodia.

The court had questioned six men arrested in the raid, said Ork Youran, a clerk of deputy prosecutor Chea Meth at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

IJM staff said they believed both parlours are part of a larger criminal network that brings Vietnamese girls to Cambodia as sex workers. Officials were alerted to the activities at the massage parlours by a client who was offered sexual services.

IJM has previously come under fire for using entrapment techniques to bust fraudulent businesses masking sex trafficking – a tactic that is now legal for drug busts, but not for anti-trafficking raids.

“IJM is currently talking with government officials at the ministry of justice and information to implement a good legal structure … that would give police the authority to use anti-trafficking tactics available to police in most countries in the world,” Roberts said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release