As a pimp and a madam were charged by the Kandal Provincial Court for selling sex with minors Thursday, police revealed details of the prostitution racket the pair had operated in the province’s Takhmao City.
Sin Sidet, 58, his wife Touch Vanny, 54, and Hang Mao, 31, were arrested on Tuesday evening during simultaneous raids on a guesthouse and private home in the city that had been under police surveillance for four months.
The provincial court Thursday exonerated Mr. Sidet, the guesthouse owner, ruling that he was not involved in the illegal business, but charged his wife with providing a place for prostitution, and her accomplice, Mr. Mao, with procuring prostitution, according to Va Sopheap, a provincial police officer who was part of the investigation.
“The two were sent to the provincial prison this afternoon,” he said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Sopheap said that nine females—eight of them minors—were found at the guesthouse and Mr. Mao’s rental home. On Thursday, he said that one of the girls, aged 17, is three months pregnant.
According to Mr. Sopheap, the Srey Na Bopha Stung Meas guesthouse, operated by Ms. Vanny, served as the front-of-house for the prostitution business, while less than a kilometer away, the home of Mr. Mao, who presents himself as a women, was where the women and girls stayed.
“When a customer comes to the guesthouse, they call Srey Mao and tell him to bring one girl,” Mr. Sopheap said, referring to the cross-dresser by his nickname.
“Srey Mao chooses the girl, depending on how much the customer wants to pay. The price depends on beauty.”
Of the $15 to $25 paid by each customer, the guesthouse received $5 for providing a room and acting as go-between, Mr. Sopheap said.
“The rest of the money goes to Srey Mao,” he said, adding that testimony from the women and girls revealed that they were sometimes given small amounts of money—$1 or $2—to cover basic expenses, but that generally all they received was food and shelter, he said.