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)