Four Found Guilty in Chinese Bride Trafficking

Four people received sentences ranging from two to 10 years in absentia on Friday for their roles in attempting to traffic two sisters and another woman to be brides in China.

Presiding Judge Ly Sokleng did not explain why none of the defendants were in court, but at a previous hearing three of the suspects were tried in absentia after their lawyer said they were unable to attend due to health problems.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided to sentence Chan Sokkhim, 46, to 10 years in prison,” Judge Sokleng said.

Judge Y Thavrak announced that Khim Chantrea, 23, his mother Bun Sim, 60, and his aunt Bun Hour, 56, were sentenced to two years in jail, with a year suspended.

They were also ordered to pay around $1,000 each to the victims.

At trial, Kean Ny, 28, described how Ms. Sokkhim came to her hometown in Kompong Thom province last June with the promise that she and her sister would earn $500 per month as housekeepers in Singapore.

However, she learned they were being trafficked while in Vietnam and then fled after a fifth suspect — who has not been arrested — told her over the telephone that the sisters and the third woman should take “one husband together” if they did not want to be separated.

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