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Two held for smuggling China bride

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Thuok Thet (left) and Vok Chhai Ngim are in pre-trial detention after they were arrested for their involvement in sending a Cambodian woman to China for marriage in 2017. Photo supplied

Two held for smuggling China bride

The Tbong Khmum provincial court on Friday placed two women in pre-trial detention after they were arrested for their involvement in sending a Cambodian woman to China for marriage in 2017.

Provincial court spokesman Theng Cheang identified the duo as 61-year-old Vok Chhai Ngim, also known as Mao, and her 38-year-old daughter Thuok Thet, both from Anlong Pong village in Tbong Khmum district’s Tonle Bet commune.

“The two women were charged with Unlawful Removal with Purpose under Article 10 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. They face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty,” he said.

Hai Lalin, provincial deputy police chief in charge of human trafficking, said the arrests were made after the unidentified victim filed a complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which then referred her to provincial police.

“Police launched an investigation and detained the suspects after receiving the complaint,” he said.

Sok Chhun Lay, provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau deputy head, said the duo confessed during questioning that they arranged the marriage and paperwork in exchange for commission from another woman identified only as Chheng, who they alleged was the mastermind.

“Thuok Thet received $300 from Chheng for sending the victim to China, but Vok Chhai Ngim did not receive any commission from Chheng,” he said.

The 23-year-old victim told police the suspects approached her about going to China for marriage in 2017.

After landing in China, she said she was held against her will in a house for four months before being sold and transferred to four other places. She managed to flee to Thailand early last year.

Chhun Lay said the victim was eventually rescued by an NGO in Thailand and the Cambodian Embassy. She returned to Cambodia in November last year.

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