Paratroopers Detained for Attempted Trafficking

Two members of RCAF’s 911 paratrooper battalion, a taxi driver and a woman were detained Fri­day in Kandal provincial prison for attempting to traffic a 15-year-old girl, police said Sunday.

Chi Pa Kimlean, 15, was rescued Thursday in Kompong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district when military police stopped the car in which 911 Major Buth Sambo, 42, and an unnamed driver were taking the teenager to Phnom Penh, Kandal provincial deputy police chief Chan Savoeun said.

The girl had been missing for more than a week, since she ac­cepted an invitation from her aunt, Sok Pech, to visit her at her home in­side the 911 paratrooper headquarters in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district, Chan Savoeun said.

After military police rescued Chi Pa Kimlean, they requested that her aunt and another relative, paratrooper Roeun Roen, 35, visit the district military police headquarters.

The two were then arrested and charged with conspiring to traffic their young relative, Chan Sa­voeun said.

The 15-year-old was tested for drugs after being rescued. “When we talked to her the first time, she didn’t know anything,” he said, adding that the test was to determine whether she had taken meth­amphetamines.

“We are doing further investigation. I can say that this is a human trafficking case rather than kidnapping. The girl is so beautiful,” Chan Savoeun said. Chi Pa Kim­lean is now in the care of an NGO, he said.

“The girl is in a safe place and in good health,” said Mey Chan­veas­na, investigator for the NGO Pro­tection of Juvenile Justice.

The girl’s parents have also been placed in a safe house after receiving threats to their lives, he added.

Some villagers living in the vicinity of the 911 headquarters have reported that their daughters went missing after visiting the special forces base, Mey Chanveasna said.

Chap Pheakdei, commander of the 911 battalion, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Sam Rainsy Party member Mu Sochua said the government must take action against members of the armed forces who are using their power to abuse their own people rather than protect them.

“The government must take im­mediate action,” she said, adding that the guilty must not be allowed to walk free after paying financial compensation. “It’s completely wrong,” she said.


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