Four people were arrested on Saturday morning for allegedly attempting to traffic Cambodian women to China, with two of their would-be victims narrowly escaping the scheme.
Ji Jiaxin, from China, and his Khmer wife, Teo Oeun, were arrested after intelligence from Christian anti-trafficking group AIM suggested they were attempting to wed two young women to Chinese husbands, according to Phnom Penh’s Military Police.
The two would-be husbands, Zhang Liang, 27, and Yan Fan, 28, were also arrested in the Military Police raid on a guesthouse in the capital’s Meanchey district.
Police said the brokering couple had already trafficked three women to China via Vietnam, but their current whereabouts and wellbeing were unknown.
The two victims in Saturday’s raid were a 24-year-old and 27-year-old from Takeo who had been promised $4,000 if they married Chinese men, according to a statement posted to the Military Police Facebook page.
The alleged traffickers were discovered after they were overheard discussing wedding plans and documentation in a Meanchey coffee shop, the statement said.
A wedding ceremony had already been held for Liang and the 24-year-old Khmer woman last Sunday, and the group of six arrived in Phnom Penh last Monday to finalise passports and other documents.
AIM founder Don Brewster could not be reached on Sunday and other AIM staff declined to comment.