Anti-trafficking police busted a Phnom Penh hair salon believed to be a front for prostitution and human trafficking yesterday, police said, making good on a promise made in the wake of the high-profile arrest of Chan Sreynuch to open further investigations into suspicious beauty parlours.
Keo Thea, chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection unit, said that three brokers – two from Vietnam, and one from China – were arrested, and 10 women aged between 16 and 20 were rescued from the Mey Long Beauty and Barber Shop in Tuol Kork district’s Phsar Doeum Kor commune in Phnom Penh.
Yesterday’s raid came just over two months after the arrest of Sreynuch, 38, owner of the well-known Mikasa Coiffure and Beauty shop, which police characterised as the base of operations for a high-end prostitution ring, with sex workers masquerading as hairdressers.
“These three foreign people were brokers who had brought the young girls from Vietnam to have sex with rich people in Cambodia,” Thea said yesterday.
“They were arrested by our anti-trafficking police when we raided their beauty and barber shop, when they brought the girls into their shop and were sitting and waiting for their customers to come and take them to have sex in other places, or hotels,” he added.
“This is another success and a big crackdown that our police have made in this year.”
Thea said that police are temporarily detaining the suspects and victims – who hailed from both Vietnam and Cambodia – at the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office in Phnom Penh for questioning, but declined to name the suspects due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
“We now are still questioning them at our office in order to search for those who are involved or are behind them,” he said.
Thea went on to say that police are continuing to look into other massage shops and beauty parlours in Phnom Penh, but declined to offer any further details.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]