11 Cham Teenagers Claim Men Duped Them

An Islamic NGO has received complaints from 11 ethnic Cham  girls under the age of 18 who say two US nationals of Cham de­scent duped them into marriage, had sex with them and then abandoned them, an NGO official said Tues­day.

Three of the girls have complained directly to the Cham Khmer Islam Minority Human Rights and Development As­so­ci­a­tion, while the other eight sent their complaints by proxy, said Touch La, an official at the NGO.

During their 2004 marriage spree, the two men promised the girls “houses, cars, land, money and jewelry, but they got nothing,” Touch La said.

With their suitors gone, the girls “demanded that these two men compensate them because of their reputations and the fact that they are young,” he added.

Eight of the girls are from Kom­pong Cham province and three from Phnom Penh’s Mean­chey district, he said.

Brigadier General Un Sokun­thea, head of the Interior Min­is­try’s anti-trafficking department, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

However, one senior department official who asked not to be named said a young woman and her mother came to the department last week, claiming that one of the men tricked the daughter into marriage, then abandoned her.

After spending one week in a hotel with the girl, the man gave her $400 and sent her home to her mother, the official said.

One of the accused men has writ­ten to the department, admitting he had married three Cham girls. But he said he then divorced them be­cause they betrayed him, the official added.

A request has been sent to Na­tion­al Police Commissioner Hok Lundy to call in one of the two men for questioning, the official said.

(Additional reporting by William Shaw)




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