Police are searching for a 5-year-old girl who was last seen in Svay Rieng province on Thursday before supposedly being taken to Phnom Penh by a woman police say is the mistress of the girl’s father.
Police initially detained 5-year-old Ouk Sam Nieng’s 73-year-old father, Ouk Soeung, who was suspected of selling her to the woman, named Thoeun.
However, provincial court spokesperson Phann Ratana said that no evidence had been found to support the accusation.
“He was not involved in this trafficking because he did not get any benefit from it, and the father is old and confused,” Ratana said.
The chief of the province’s anti-human trafficking police, who declined to give a name, said it was determined that the father had been “cheated” by the woman who took the girl.
“Now, the police are searching for the girl and the woman,” he said.
Deputy district police chief Mao Sokhan said the woman came to Soeung’s house in Kandal village on Tuesday, and stayed there for two days before Soeung dropped her and the girl at a bus station to go to Phnom Penh to visit his relatives.
However, the girl’s deceased mother’s brother filed a complaint to police after he called the relatives and discovered the woman and child never arrived, Sokhan said.