FIVE Chinese nationals were convicted yesterday of selling pornography by Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Kor Vandy, who gave each a fine and prison sentence of 20 days in prison.
The five were apprehended during a police raid on a traditional Chinese medicine shop in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district on July 4 and charged the following day.
Police confiscated a number of sex toys, including 10 dildos and traditional medicines thought to increase sexual arousal.
All five were fined 150,000 riel (about US$40) but were released yesterday after Kor Vandy commuted the sentence. The judge ordered that the sex toys and medicines be destroyed.
Kor Vandy ruled that the import and sale of sex toys violated Article 39 of the Law on Anti-Human-Trafficking, which prohibits the display, possession, import, export and sale of pornography.
The law’s definition of pornography appears to be somewhat circular, leaving room for judicial interpretation.
According to an unofficial translation, pornography is defined as “visible material such as a photograph or videotape, including material in electronic form, depicting genitals or other similar pornography which excites or stimulates sexual desire”.
Wang Jixiang, the 48-year-old shop owner, said in court yesterday that she did not know it was illegal to sell sex toys or traditional medicines meant to increase arousal.
“I decided to export these kinds of sex toys from China to sell in my shop in Cambodia because I did not know that it was illegal and against Cambodian laws. I would like to promise to the court that I will not commit [the crime] again in the future,” she said.