Two Cambodians arrested on allegations of organ trafficking last week were officially charged in Phnom Penh yesterday and could face up to 30 years in prison.
Lach Hong Meng, 34, and Heng Lat, 38, were arrested last Wednesday after allegedly acting as brokers and offering at least 10 victims $5,800 for their kidneys over the past year.
The pair allegedly flew victims and organ recipients to India for surgery, and used fake documents to disguise the donors as relatives of the recipients.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ey Rin said Prosecutor Ouch Kimlong charged the pair under articles 10 and 15 of the Anti-Trafficking Law, which entail unlawfully removing a person for the purpose of any form of exploitation, including the removal of organs. Each charge carries a sentence of between seven and 15 years in prison.
Hong Meng, who anti-trafficking police believe to be the mastermind behind the operation, could face an additional two years under Article 632 of the Penal Code for allegedly fraudulently requesting a document from a public body to prove identity.