Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Woman seeks reduction in lengthy prison term for human trafficking

Woman seeks reduction in lengthy prison term for human trafficking

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Convicted human trafficker Um Rada at the Phnom Penh Appeal Court on January 18. Kim Sarom

Woman seeks reduction in lengthy prison term for human trafficking

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Appeal on January 18 heard the case of a woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for attempting to traffic seven underage Cambodian women to Malaysia.

According to a statement read out by Presiding Judge Phou Pov Sun, the case involved three defendants, but only Um Rada, 35, had appealed the sentence handed down by the lower court.

It said that in early June 2016, a woman named Chan Sokhim had convinced seven young women from Kampong Thom province that they could get high-paying jobs in Singapore. Sokhim then brought the women to stay temporarily at Rada’s house in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district.

While the seven women were staying there, Rada told them that they would not go to work in Singapore, but in Malaysia.

Another alleged accomplice named Sam Yong tried to obtain documents to register the seven for passports. She went to Chaom Chao commune authorities in an attempt to change the ages and names of the underage victims so that they could apply for passports.

However, commune authorities were suspicious and alerted the Anti-Human Trafficking Department police, who arrested the three suspects and released the victims.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Rada and Sokhim in December 2019 to 16 years in prison on charges of human trafficking under Article 11 of the law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. Yong was sentenced to one year in prison for providing false documents.

Rada told the court that she had filed her appeal because the lower court had sentenced her to 16 years which she said was too long. She said she had no one to take care of her three children.

“I am asking the court to reduce my sentence so that I can go home and take care of my children who are just 13, 12 and 7 years old. Before, they had my father to take care of them, but my father died of Covid 19 three months ago,” she said.

Appeal Court prosecutor Im Sophan suggested that a clemency be granted as the accused had pleaded guilty.

“The lower court’s sentencing of the accused woman to 16 years is correct, but the accused should receive some commutation because the crime failed to happen,” he said.

Lay Lundy, defence lawyer for Rada, said he agreed with the prosecutor and urged the court to show clemency to his client.

“My client has confessed at all stages. Therefore, I would like the court to reduce her sentence,” he said.

A verdict is due on January 28.


  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement