Couple Charged Over Child Labor Ring

A couple arrested for renting 22 children from their parents and forcing them to sell fruit on Phnom Penh’s streets and beer gardens were charged on Friday by the municipal court, police said.

Lao Lin, chief of the juvenile protection bureau in the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said the two suspects, Khen Vandy, 30, and her husband Chea Sady, 28, had been sent to Prey Sar prison for provisional detention.

“The court charged the two with subjecting a minor to working conditions that are harmful to his or her health,” he said.

Na Neang, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said the two suspects would face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 6 million riel (about $1,500) if found guilty.

The children, who were made to sell fruit until 5 a.m. every morning, were found on Tuesday at a house in Chbar Ampov district’s Chbar Ampov II commune.

Asked whether the owner of the house would be punished, Ms. Neang said: “We are investigating now and whether there is any involvement or not is up to the court to decide.”

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