A WOMAN suspected of running a prostitution ring since 2007 was placed in pretrial detention Wednesday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, two days after her rented apartment in the capital’s Daun Penh district was raided, district officials said.
Police arrested 38-year-old Nin Saran and briefly detained two male customers and three prostitutes during Monday’s raid at the apartment in Srak Chork commune, said Sin Sitha, head of the National Military Police’s Anti-human Trafficking Bureau, who led the operation.
Sin Sitha said that while being questioned by police Nin Saran had admitted to running an exclusive, appointment-only brothel.
“According to testimonies from Nin Saran, she had rented the apartment for [US$400] per month since 2007, with a business of providing sex,” he said. “The prostitutes told us that they voluntarily had sex with customers for US$5-10, and shared half of the profits with the owner.”
The prostitutes told us that they... had sex with customers for US$5-10.
He added that the raid took place after an investigation that lasted several months, and that the three prostitutes swept up in the raid had been sent to the municipal Social Affairs Department for “education”.
Investigating Judge Chaing Sinat said Nin Saran’s trial date had not yet been set.
“We have ordered the woman to serve a pretrial detention under the charges of aggravated procurement of prostitution under the human trafficking law, pending a further investigation,” he said.
In March, Prime Minister Hun Sen in a speech urged officials to increase their efforts to eliminate illegal gambling halls, brothels, nightclubs and karaoke parlours.
In the speech, delivered on International Women’s Day, Hun Sen lambasted high-ranking officials who he said had been guilty of “misconduct” and had been intentionally thwarting efforts to reduce “human trafficking”.
The speech prompted a series of raids on brothels in Phnom Penh and in the provinces. Some NGOs have expressed concern that the raids are sending a marginalised group – sex workers – further underground.