A trio accused of attempting to smuggle two underage girls and two women to China for marriage denied the charges yesterday, saying that the four would have worked as labourers.
Mak Heang Rithy, 32, is charged with providing forged documents, and alleged conspirators Taing Saroeun, 46, and E Lao, 65, both face charges as accomplices to providing forged documents after their November arrest at Phnom Penh International Airport.
“They collected the girls, who range from age 17 to age 23, and made fake passports for them, in order to send them to China to marry men there,” Phnom Penh Municipal Judge Keo Mony said.
Municipal anti-human trafficking police arrested the defendants at the airport, while they were allegedly seeing off the four, said Keo Thea, chief of department’s juvenile protection unit.
In court yesterday, Heang Rithy admitted to forging the documents, but insisted the four were meant to work as fruit collectors in China.
Verdicts will be handed down on April 23.