A Cambodian woman was arrested and sent to pre-trial detention yesterday for allegedly trafficking more than 20 Cambodian nationals to Malaysia to be domestic workers, according to a Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman.
Ly Sophana, spokesman for the court, said the woman, whom he did not identify, was arrested on Thursday and sent to the investigating judge on Friday on preliminary charges under Article 11 of the Anti-Trafficking Law – which deals with “unlawful removal for cross-border transfer” – and could face seven to 15 years in prison, 20 years if any women were found to be minors.
“The investigative judge decided to put her in pre-trial detention,” he said.
Sou Vanndy, deputy chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Department, said that the suspect, Ou Radin, had no accomplices in her trafficking of 26 women. “The women were promised 300 to 400 dollars each,” he said, adding that Radin earned between $1,400 and $1,500 per person.
However, a National Police Facebook post from Friday showed a slightly lower number of 24 victims sent to Malaysia since 2014. The police said the women had to work up to 18 hours per day without rest days.
Separately, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Friday that it repatriated three undocumented Cambodians from Malaysia on Wednesday and that 23 undocumented migrant workers were arrested by police in Laos and repatriated by the Cambodian Embassy on August 25.
The three Cambodians repatriated from Malaysia were assisted by the International Organization for Migration.