PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against three Vietnamese women accused of selling four underage girls to foreigners at a massage parlour in Siem Reap last year.
Yoeung Thoeu Alin, 47, and Sok Srey Na, 50, were arrested in July at the massage parlour in Siem Reap on suspicion of selling three Cambodian girls, aged between 12 and 14, and Sok Rey Na’s 14-year-old niece, to a Japanese man and a Frenchman in June. Neither man has been arrested.
Sok Srey Na’s daughter, 27-year-old Phat Sok Ly, was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district while attempting to bring her Vietnamese cousin back to Siem Reap.
All three were charged with selling human beings with purpose and procuring child sex for foreigners.
Phat Sok Ly’s cousin, one of the four victims, told the court yesterday that she was “fed up” with her aunt and cousin, who she said sold her to parlour owner Yoeung Thoeu Alin for US$500.
“I heard and saw my aunt Sok Srey Na receive $500 from the madam to sell me so I could have sex with clients,” she said.
“The madam then sold me to an old Japanese man, and then sold me to a Frenchman for $8,500.”
But all three accused denied they were involved in selling the Vietnamese girl or the three other alleged victims.
Yoeung Thoeu Alin said she entrusted the Vietnamese girl into the care of the Japanese man “because he has money to support her study, and he also gave me $30 a month”.
Peng Maneth, a lawyer provided to the victims by the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said there was enough evidence to find all three defendants guilty.
“We request the court to prosecute the three accused under the charges, and also request the court to order the accused to pay $3,000 to each of the victims,” she said.
Defence Lawyer Pung Yuk Heap said his clients were too poor to meet the demands of the victims’ lawyers, and requested that the charges be lifted.
“My clients are very poor and would not be able to pay the compensation,” he said.
Presiding Judge Kor Vandy said no date had been scheduled for the verdict.
If found guilty, all three face between seven and 15 years in prison for each charge.