The Sok Sann Parlor club in Siem Reap, a branch of the Vimean Kam Sann club in Phnom Penh that was the subject of an anti-trafficking raid on Saturday, closed its doors of its own accord on Sunday, police said Monday.
The Sok Sann, which includes a disco and restaurant, as well as massage and karaoke facilities, closed at about 6 pm, leaving about 100 staff members unemployed, Ou Em, Siem Reap Serious Crime bureau chief said.
“The owner decided to close. Police did not force the closure,” he said, adding that the club also operated as a brothel.
Siem Reap is opposed to sex tourism, Ou Em said, adding: “Our tourism policy is cultural and natural tourism.”
The club is owned by a Cambodian-American man identified as “Mr Dy,” Kean Piseth, a club supervisor, said.
Mr Dy also owns the Vimean Kam Sann, he added.
“My boss does not want to close [the Sok Sann], but he can’t keep operating when police authorities cracked down on his club in Phnom Penh,” Kean Piseth said, adding that he was unaware of Mr Dy’s whereabouts.
The US State Department has asked Cambodia to close five brothels, arrest 10 human traffickers and convict three persons, in order to avoid sanctions following its handling of the Afesip case.
Asked Monday about the closure of the two establishments, a US Embassy spokesman said: “Our focus is not on the nationality of traffickers, but effective law enforcement to suppress trafficking.”
Kean Piseth said staff at the Sok Sann have limited job prospects outside the brothel.
“They are from the countryside, they have low education, so they don’t know how to find other jobs,” Kean Piseth said, adding that the masseuses were aged between 18 and 26.
Keo Thea, deputy police chief of Phnom Penh Municipality’s anti-trafficking unit, said Monday that the Sok Sann club is under investigation.
He added that the women from the Vimean Kam Sann have been sent to a Ministry of Social Affairs re-education center.
(Additional reporting by William Shaw)