A Chinese national and three Cambodians were arrested Sunday by anti-human trafficking police for attempting to send women to China for marriage to Chinese men, an official said.
The group is suspected of trafficking more than 30 women to China, according to municipal Anti-Human Trafficking Police chief Lieutenant Colonel Keo Thea.
Lt. Col. Thea said that Liu Shiping, a 35-year-old Chinese businessman, as well as Cambodians Kheng Sengly, 31; Kheng Saophea, 28; and Doek Meth, 53, were arrested in different parts of Phnom Penh after a long-running investigation.
Mr. Liu and Mr. Meth were arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport with three Cambodian women who were booked on an flight, said Lt. Col. Thea, adding that Mr. Sengly and Ms. Saophea were arrested later.
The three women, from Kandal, Kratie and Kompong Speu provinces, were recruited as part of an operation that was run by Mr. Meth, but carried out in the provinces by Mr. Sengly and Ms. Saophea, Lt. Col. Thea said.
The operation aimed to lure “virgin” Cambodian women between the ages of 19 and 22 to move to China with a promise they would be married to Chinese men, he said.
“Only two ministries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior can permit people to marry with foreigners legally,” the anti-trafficking police chief said, appealing to local authorities to educate women against agreeing to migrate on a promise of marriage.
The three victims of the attempted trafficking have been returned to their families, Lt. Col. Thea said, while the four suspects will appear in court Monday.