Beautician Arrested for Allegedly Selling Sex

Military police have arrested a well-known beauty salon owner in Phnom Penh over alleged involvement in the sex trade, an official said.

Chan Sreynuch, 38, was one of seven people detained during searches of a room at the Sreleap hotel in Tuol Kok district and Cafe City Cat in Daun Penh district on Wednesday evening, Brigadier General Sear Sambath, deputy chief of the National Military Police’s investigation and research commissariat, said.

“We arrested six women and a man, a driver,” Brig. Gen. Sambath said. “Ms. Sreynuch, as the owner of Mikasa Beauty Salon, was involved in the sex trade and the other people are victims,” he said.

Military police first raided a hotel room, where they found and arrested Ms. Sreynuch and two women in their 20s, who were allegedly waiting for customers, he said. Three more women in their 20s and the driver were then arrested at the restaurant, he added.

National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said that Ms. Sreynuch—who he alleged was in charge of a prostitution operation—was being held in military police custody while court papers are prepared to charge her.

The women and the driver were released yesterday, he said. “Five women and one man were victims and we have allowed them to return to their homes after a warning and education,” he said.

It was unclear yesterday if Ms. Sreynuch’s beauty salon business was linked to her alleged involvement in the sex trade. The salon owner is known to count Khmer pop stars and the wealthy among her customers. Performers often extend gratitude to her, using her nickname “Mom,” at the end of televised performances.

TV director Poan Phuong Bopha said that she had recently filmed a scene for an upcoming drama production for the CTN network at the Mikasa Beauty Salon, in which Ms. Sreynuch had a minor part.

“She is famous because most of the stars come to get made up at her salon. It’s a suitable price and, sometimes, it’s free for the stars,” Ms. Phuong Bopha added.

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