Couple Sent to Jail for Procuring Prostitution in Massage Parlor

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yes­terday sentenced a couple to three years in jail with one year’s probation for running a massage parlor that provided clients with sexual services, Judge Phou Paosun said.

Say Thim, 26, and his wife Soeun Chenla, 25, were arrested on March 22 after police raided the massage parlor in Chamkar Mon district’s Tum­­nop Toek commune along with seven fe­male massueses, who were later released.

Mr Thim yesterday denied he or his wife had been involved in pro­cur­ing prostitution, and said that they had simply stayed at the massage parlor, owned by his wife’s cous­in, for a few days. While the couple was staying at the massage parlor, the police raid occurred and the cous­in escaped, Mr Thim claimed.

Keo Thea, municipal anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police chief, denied the couple had only been at the massage parlor for a few days, saying they had managed the shop themselves for several months.

“They managed the massage parlor instead of their cousin,” he said. “They collected money from prostitutes.”

Sok Sam Oeun, director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said that for massage parlor owners to be charged with procuring prostitution, there had to be “evidence that there’s a profit from sex” taking place on the premises. Some owners have caught on to this now and make sure prostitutes accompany clients to another venue, he added.

   (Additional reporting by Kate Bartlett)           


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