Brothel Manager Charged, Owner Released

The manager of a brothel that was raided by police in Pursat City last week has been jailed on charges of procuring child prostitution, while the owner of the property has been released from custody but remains under investigation, officials said on Monday.

Six girls and women were rescued in the raid on the house in the city’s Banteay Dei commune last Tuesday evening, which was carried out by anti-trafficking police and members of Agape International Missions’ AIM SWAT team, an NGO investigation unit.

The woman accused of managing the brothel, 45-year-old Kim Dany, was arrested in the operation, while one of the six sex workers admitted to being only 16 years old, according to Agape.

Deputy provincial police chief Ros Bunnan said Ms. Dany was charged with procuring child prostitution at the provincial court on Thursday, then sent to prison to await trial.

Pol Chamroeun, chief of the provincial police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said that on Wednesday, authorities also arrested 42-year-old De Rasy, the owner of the house the brothel had been operating out of. He said Ms. Rasy told police that she had rented the property out to a woman who turned out to be one of the six sex workers.

“She said she didn’t know about the problem at the house. She said she just rented it to [a woman] for $50 per month,” Mr. Chamroeun said, adding that Ms. Rasy had already been released from custody.

“We do not have enough evidence to determine whether she is involved in the case or not; we are still investigating her,” he said.

Mr. Chamroeun said police believed the sex worker who rented the house had been instructed to do so by Ms. Dany, adding that the brothel had been open for two or three years.

Corroborating a report from AIM SWAT’s investigations director, Eric Meldrum, last week, the bureau chief said one of the six girls and women rescued admitted to being only 16, while the others had told investigators that they were between the ages of 19 and 28. He said he did not believe them.

“I think the women tried to hide the information from police, but I don’t know why,” Mr. Chamrouen said, adding that all six were staying at an NGO-run shelter in Phnom Penh.

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