Takeo Woman Answers to Trafficking Charges

A Takeo province woman char­ged with human trafficking told Phnom Penh Municipal Court Monday that, by kidnapping and selling a 3-year-old girl to a family in Kampot province, she had backed out of a contract to kill the child.

Chan Touch, 44, of Tram Kak district’s Trapaing Thom commune, traveled to Preah Bat No­rodom Sihanouk Hospital in Phnom Penh last month to seek treatment for tuberculosis, she told the court. There, she said, she met a man named Oul, who offered her $100 to kill a girl visiting the hospital with her parents.

He did not say how he knew the girl or why he wanted her dead, Chan Touch said.

On July 28, Oul gave her $5 to buy ice cream to lure the child from the hospital, promising the remaining $95 on completion of the hit, she said.

After seizing the girl, however, Chan Touch, a mother of three children, said she lost her nerve.

“A little girl is so nice, like my daughter…so I couldn’t kill her,” she said.

Instead, she sold the girl to a family in Kampot province for $17.50, court clerk Huot Chhuor said.

Police arrested her in Kampot on Aug 21, and the girl was re­turned unharmed that day to her family in Phnom Penh, said Nor Dary, an officer with the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department. Police are searching for the man identified as Oul but currently have no leads, he ad­ded.

If convicted, Chan Touch could face 10 to 20 years in prison.

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