Manager Beat Up at Hotel’s Karaoke Party

The Korean manager of a Phnom Penh hotel was pistol- whipped on Thursday night during an argument with some rowdy guests who were attending the grand opening of a karaoke par­lor in the hotel, police said Sun­day.

Bang Yong Hwan, 48, the depu­ty manager of the Amiga Hotel and Restaurant near Wat Phnom in Phsar Thmei II commune was slightly injured when one of the cus­tomer’s beat him on the head with a handgun, said commune po­lice chief Lork Orn.

The incident occurred around 9 pm when Bang Yong Hwan rushed into one of the karaoke rooms and asked the guests, who were carousing free of charge as part of the grand opening, to leave as they were harassing waitresses, police said.

“On the first day of the opening of the karaoke parlor, the hotel own­er had invited clients to enjoy drinks and singing free of charge,” Lork Orn said. “The verbal conflict first started between the hotel’s employees and the clients.”

After beating the manager, the armed customers fled the hotel, driving away in their car before po­lice arrived.

Bang Yong Hwan was taken to a private clinic and received stitches to this head, police said. He did not file a complaint against his attackers.

Reached by telephone on Sun­day, the deputy manager de­clined to comment on the incident.

“I am fine now,” said Bang Yong Hwan, declining to give any further comments.

Police have not identified the party guests who are now suspects in the attack and no formal charges have been filed with police.

In November 2001, Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen ordered all karaoke clubs and nightclubs throughout the country to be shut down, after numerous violent incidents oc­curred where his relatives were im­plicated.

In the wake of the order, many karaoke clubs in the provinces and Phnom Penh renamed themselves as “restaurants” or “massage parlors,” to skirt the ban.


13 trafficked Cambodians return from Thailand

By Prak Chan Thul

the cambodia daily

Seven families, including three children, returned to Cambodia last week from Thailand, where they were trafficked earlier this year to labor on Thai farms, human rights workers said.

Two men and 11 women and children, all from Kdey Kandal village in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district, said they were brought to Thailand in July and August, lured by promises of about $1.70 per day—none of which was paid.

They returned to Cambodia on Wednesday and Thursday and were taken to the Phnom Penh office of rights group Licadho.

Interviewed at Licadho on Friday, the families said they ran away from the Thai farms, and made their way back to Cambodia by foot and with the help of sympathetic motor vehicle drivers.

The group, which included three girls aged 2, 12 and 14, said they had been sold to work as laborers for about $7 each

One of the victims, Yun Phoeun, 39, said she had been duped into leaving her home by a man named Seang Mao, who was still in Thailand.

“Seang Mao told us that he would take us to work on Malai district farms [in Banteay Meanchey province], but took us to Thailand,” she said.

She added that she was promised payment for her work. But, she said: “We have never received that money.”

Yat Barang, 35, said he had been convinced to leave his home village due to the poor conditions there.

“Our farms are flooded. That’s why we went there,” he said.

In Thailand, the families labored in isolated locations and could not recognize where they were, he said.

Licadho founder Kek Galabru said their lack of education and poor living conditions in Cambodia forced the families to seek work elsewhere.

The families were sent back to Kandal province later on Friday, Kek Galabru said.

Licadho women’s rights monitor Chheng Soklay said at least four other trafficking victims from Cambodia were still working at the same farms in Thailand.

Calls made to Thai Embassy officials in Phnom Penh were unsuccessful Sunday.

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