Accused Bride Trafficker Charged, Imprisoned

A 28-year-old woman who was caught at a Phnom Penh guesthouse with six girls and women she intended to send to China as laborers and brides was charged with human trafficking on Friday, officials said.

Thoeun Puthea was charged at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with procuring with aggravating circumstances, said Y Rin, a spokesman for the court’s judges.

Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said Ms. Puthea had confessed to the crime and was placed in provisional detention at the Prey Sar prison on Friday.

He declined to comment further. Ms. Puthea was arrested at the Dara Guesthouse in Prampi Makara district on Tuesday and found in the company of two minors and four other women, according to police.

Originally from Kratie province, Ms. Puthea had intended to send them to China by way of Vietnam, and had been under surveillance for several months, police said.

The procurement charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

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