Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moldovan gets 8 years on trafficking charges

Moldovan gets 8 years on trafficking charges

Liudmila Bejenari sits in a police vehicle at the Phnom Penh court, where she was convicted on trafficking charges yesterday.
Liudmila Bejenari sits in a police vehicle at the Phnom Penh court, where she was convicted on trafficking charges yesterday. Pha Lina

Moldovan gets 8 years on trafficking charges

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced Moldovan national Liudmila Bejenari to eight years in prison for keeping an employee in debt bondage and forcing her to have sex with customers.

“The court decides to sentence the accused – Bejenari, Liudmila; known as Linda – to eight years’ imprisonment and orders the accused to pay compensation of 30 million riel [about $4,500] to the victim for the charge ‘unlawful removal with purpose’ under Article 10 of the Anti-Trafficking Law,” Judge Svay Tonh said, reading out the verdict.

The Moldovan victim filed a complaint against Bejenari in 2015, claiming that Linda lured her to Cambodia with the promise of work, but then confiscated her passport. According to the victim’s complaint, Linda did not pay her salary while she was employed at Ga.Do Italian Pizza and Wine Shop and forced her to have sex with customers for money.

Article 10 of the Anti Trafficking Law prohibits “unlawful removal with purpose” from a current place of residence for the purpose of “profit making, sexual aggression . . . or any form of exploitation”, and carries imprisonment from seven to 15 years.

The accused denied the victim’s account in a hearing last month. Defence lawyer Sok Chea could not be reached yesterday.

Peter Williams, field director of International Justice Mission, which represents the victim, called the sentence a “just outcome”.

“We’re satisfied with the conviction,” Williams said.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the