Takeo provincial court arrested a brothel owner on Friday after the husband of one of the young women working at the prostitution business claimed his wife was being held there against her will, police said.
The court charged Angkrea Rin, 40, with prostitution after police raided her brothel on Wednesday and found four women employed as sex workers inside the house, deputy provincial police chief Suon Thon said.
The raid, carried out by anti-human trafficking police and Takeo police officers, was made based on a complaint from Em Sitha, 40, who claimed his 22-year-old wife was detained at the brothel and being forced to have sex with clients.
“When the husband found her inside that brothel, the owner demanded that he pay three million riel [about $750] in exchange to free her,” Mr Thon said. “The judge already charged that brothel owner with prostitution and detained her in prison,” the deputy police chief added.
Ten Borany, deputy director of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department at the Interior Ministry, said Mr Sitha from Kompong Chhnang province’s Rolea Ba’ier district lodged a complaint with his department on Monday claiming the brothel owner in Takeo province would not let his wife, Kun Theary, leave the premises if he did not pay his wife’s debt.
Women working in brothels are traditionally loaned money when they enter and are unable to leave their employment until they have cleared their original debt, plus steep interest. Such a system means that brothel owners usually hold the women as virtual prisoners.
“A man carrying his young daughter came and complained to my department that his wife is being detained in that brothel,” Mr Borany explained on Friday.
“Based on the complaint, we started our investigation and found that the woman was inside that brothel,” he said.
Ms Theary told police that she has been detained in the brothel for around 10 days before her husband could find her, Mr Thon said, adding it was still unknown how she ended up in the brothel in the first place.
Ms Theary had been married to Mr Sitha for more than one year in Spoung Reach village, Andoung Snay commune of Rolea Ba’iar district in Kompong Chhnang province and the couple has to a 2-year-old daughter.
Mr Sitha brought his wife back to their Kompong Chhnang home on Wednesday, Mr Thon said.