A Taiwanese woman and her Cambodian assistant were arrested in Siem Reap town Monday, along with four alleged Vietnamese prostitutes, in connection with alleged human trafficking and operating a brothel, NGO workers and police said Tuesday.
Chen Ho Hsui Tzu, 61, and her male translator, who was not named, were detained after a 5 pm raid led by Phnom Penh Prosecutor Ngeth Sarath and a Siem Reap prosecutor, said Siem Reap anti-human trafficking police Chief Sun Bunthorn. They are awaiting charges, he added.
Sun Bunthorn said the case marked the first time a foreigner, other than Vietnamese, had been arrested for allegedly running an illegal brothel in Cambodia.
The business in question, Angkor Massage, was not owned by the Taiwanese woman, Sun Bunthorn said. Rather, she was believed to be the sister of the owner’s friend, he said.
The suspected sex operation was uncovered after a group of police officers searched the massage parlor for a Vietnamese girl who was thought to be re-sold into prostitution there, he said. The search was requested by anti-human trafficking NGO Afesip, he said.
“When we checked, we found out there are sex diaries, condoms and massage products, all contrary to the spirit of what a simple massage parlor is,” Sun Bunthorn said.
Soeung Kamaryan, legal coordinator for Afesip, said the NGO had been tracking a 16-year-old girl, whom Afesip rescued from a Svay Pak brothel in Phnom Penh. She said the girl’s mother took her out of a center, where the girl was being kept, but she was believed to have been re-sold.
Among the four Vietnamese women arrested was the girl’s mother Ngien Di Det, Soeung Kamaryan said.
Soeung Kamaryan said her organization will take the four arrested women to Phnom Penh for “re-education.”
In recent years, several foreign residents of Siem Reap have been arrested and charged with debauchery for allegedly having sex with underage boys and girls.