Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Trafficker’ surrogate mothers detained



‘Trafficker’ surrogate mothers detained

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Three Cambodian women were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in a case involving a Chinese surrogate on Tuesday. swift news

‘Trafficker’ surrogate mothers detained

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday ruled to temporarily detain three women in Prey Sar prison for their involvement in a case in which they acted as surrogate mothers and delivered their children to Chinese nationals in Vietnam.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department and juvenile protection police officers sent 32-year-old Seng Chanda, Phuon Sinuon, 32 and Sat Saruon, 31, to court after they were arrested in Vietnam.

They are all residents of Ang Snuol district’s Tuol Pich commune in Kandal province.

The women have been charged with two criminal offences and face more than 20 years in prison if found guilty, said Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Y Rin.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge decided to temporarily detain the three at Correctional Centre 2 under Article 16 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation and Article 332 of the Criminal Code."

“We charged them with trafficking transnational persons and [acting as an] intermediary between an adoptive parent and a pregnant woman,” Rin told The Post.

According to Article 332 of the Criminal Code, acting as an intermediary for monetary gain between a person or a couple desiring to adopt a child and a woman agreeing to bear the child with the intent to give up the child is punishable by imprisonment from one to six months and a fine from 100,000 to one million riel ($25 to $245).

Article 16 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation stipulates that the act of selling, buying or exchanging a person for cross-border transfer to outside of Cambodia is punishable by imprisonment of seven to 20 years.

Chhiv Phally, the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department director, said the three women were detained by Vietnamese police and returned to Cambodia after they illegally crossed into the country to deliver their children to Chinese nationals for $8,000 per child.

Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager with human rights group Licadho, told The Post on Thursday that he was saddened by the court’s decision to charge the three, saying the factors leading people to commit the crime are a poor standard of living and a lack of awareness of the law.

He said women who are forced to become surrogate mothers because they are so desperate for money should be seen as victims. Sam Ath also requested the court to reconsider the charges and to find the brokers behind the surrogacy agreement.

“What is important is that the government should make an announcement broadly over the issue and should publicly discuss [illegal surrogacy] so that people understand it,” he said.

Cambodia has cracked down on 43 cases of illegal surrogacy, with most of the babies sent to China.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from