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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.