Three Charged Over Rape, Trafficking of Two Teenagers

The Svay Rieng Provincial Court on Saturday charged three men with rape and human trafficking following their arrest last week for allegedly kidnapping two teenage garment workers and forcing them to work as prostitutes at a beer garden, officials said Sunday.

Provincial court prosecutor Hing Bunchea said deputy prosecutor Keang Suntaror charged the men on Saturday.

“We are still investigating the case,” Mr. Bunchea said, declining to comment further.

Neat Saroeun, chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking police, said he received missing persons complaints on Tuesday from the families of a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman—both of whom worked at a garment factory in Bavet City’s Manhattan Special Economic Zone. He said the victims’ families said the two went missing on January 31.

On the same day the complaints were received, Mr. Saroeun said, his officers tracked down the pair at the To Ro Beergarden and KTV in the city’s Prey Angkunh commune.

“After we got the complaint, we began an investigation,” he said. “We found the victims in the KTV.”

During questioning by police following their rescue, the victims said they were raped and held captive by three men, who also prostituted them to other men, according to Mr. Saroeun.

Mr. Saroeun said police arrested the suspects—Suong Pi, 31; Mey Reaksmey, 38; and Mey Maly, 38—at the beer garden on Tuesday. They are currently being held in provisional detention at the provincial prison, he added.

Mon Lida, provincial monitor for rights group Licadho, said he interviewed the 17-year-old victim on Friday and that she told him that she and her friend met Mr. Pi and Mr. Reaksmey, whom the 18-year-old knew, in front of their garment factory at about 11 a.m. on January 31.

Mr. Lida said the 17-year-old told him that the four then went together to the To Ro beer garden, where the two men and the venue’s owner, Mr. Maly, raped her and her friend.

“The suspects raped them one by one,” he said, adding that on February 1, Mr. Pi and Mr. Reaksmey sold the victims to Mr. Maly.

Mr. Lida said that according to the 17-year-old, Mr. Maly forced the victims to have sex with other men—both at the beer garden and in a rented room in a different part of the city—in exchange for money.

“The victim told me she was forced to sleep with other men,” he said. “They beat her if she would not have sex with the guests.”

The mother of the 17-year-old, who lives in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district, said Sunday that her daughter went to work in Bavet City just a few days before she was kidnapped.

Her daughter has returned home to Preah Vihear province, she said.

“She feels so ashamed. She doesn’t want to talk with other people,” she said. “We are worried about the future of my daughter.”
The mother added that she requested $10,000 in compensation from each of the three suspects.

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