Garment worker sentenced to 7 years in prison for human trafficking
Phnom Penh appeals court upheld the seven-year prison sentence of a 37-year-old textile worker who was found guilty by a lower court for trafficking 15 Cambodian women on the pretext of marrying men Chinese in China, but sold as sex slaves between 2017 and 2018.
Presiding Judge Kim Dany ordered the accused Soum Sokunthear who resides in Dangkor Commune of Dangkor District to serve the sentence handed down by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“After hearing Sokunthear’s confession on August 27, the court finds her guilty of the charges and upholds the seven-year prison sentence handed down by the lower court on October 20 of last year,” she said. .
According to article 11 of the Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, the prison term is between seven and 15 years, she said, adding that the municipal court of Phnom Penh had only handed down seven years in prison.
“Therefore, the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal has decided to uphold the decision of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court,” Judge Dany said. Sokunthear was also ordered to pay 20 million riel ($ 5,000) to the 15 victims as compensation.
Sokunthear was arrested on August 25, 2019 following complaints from victims that she recruited them under the pretext of helping them marry Chinese men in China between 2017 and 2018.
However, they told authorities that instead of a promised marriage, Chinese brokers used them as sex slaves until they were rescued by Cambodian embassy officials based in China and repatriated to their homeland. in May 2019.
In the trial on August 27, Sokunthear admitted to committing the offense, but said the victims begged her to help him find wealthy Chinese men for marriage because they wanted the money to support them. needs of their poor families.
She said she did not know that they were sold from one Chinese to another in China and used as sex slaves.
- Key words: garment worker, human trafficking