Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday delivered Cambodia’s first ever convictions for organ trafficking, sentencing two men and a woman to a combined 35 years in prison for sending their relatives to have their kidneys harvested in Thailand.
Yem Asi Sas, 29, wept while Judge Keo Mony sentenced her to 15 years in jail for “trafficking people with the purpose of organ removal” between 2012 and 2014. Her stepfather, Yem Phalla, who fled after being released on bail, and brother-in-law, Pheng Sabay, were also given 10 years each in absentia for their roles as accomplices.
The trio’s trafficking ring was uncovered in July 2014 when two of the suspect’s cousins filed police complaints saying they had been persuaded into going to Thailand to sell their kidneys for wealthy Cambodians on dialysis.
One cousin, Mot Hiriphin, 26, previously told the Post he received $4,200 for his kidney and later learned that the businessman had paid $12,000.
The trio was yesterday ordered to pay the two victims $7,000 in compensation. Outside the court, Asi Sas vowed to appeal the verdict.
Additional reporting by AFP