Woman Gets 9 Years for Trafficking; Son Acquitted

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday sentenced a 60-year-old woman to nine years in prison for attempting to traffic two women to China to be sold as brides, but acquitted her son of the same crime.

Ouk Vanny and her son Ouk Chamroeun, 30, were arrested in Pur Senchey district in June on their way to a bus station with the victims—Sam Sreytouch, 24, and Vat Ly, 20—in search of a route that would take them to China.

Ms. Sreytouch is Ms. Vanny’s goddaughter, while Ms. Ly is a friend of the defendants’ family.

On trial last month, Ms. Vanny said her own two daughters traveled to China to marry four years ago, and that the young women had come to her hoping to do the same.

The victims, however, told the court that Mr. Vanny persuaded them to go, and that Mr. Chamroeun kept watch over them in the days before they were scheduled to depart.

Yesterday, Presiding Judge San Sophat announced that while Ms. Vanny’s defense did not hold up, her son would be freed.

“The court decided to acquit Ouk Chamroeun of the charge and sentence Ouk Vanny, 60, to nine years in prison,” he said without explaining the decision.

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