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Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 85 years in Prison

End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking in Children
Media Release 11 March 2005

Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 85 years in Prison

The United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking has announced a groundbreaking decision by the Thai Criminal Court in a sex trafficking case.
Ms Khunthea, a Cambodian national has been sentenced to 85 years in prison for procuring under-age women for prostitution. According to Thai Criminal Procedure (article 91:3) Khunthea will only serve a 50 year prison term.

The successful prosecution is the first time that Cambodia and Thailand have worked together to prosecute a trafficker. The case involved movement across three countries and required officials and non-governmental agencies to join forces.

The prosecution rested on the testimony of eight Cambodian women who left their home village in Cambodia believing they would be offered work as noodle and clothes sellers in Bangkok. Instead they were held in Samut Prakan before being sold into a Malaysian brothel by Ms. Khunthea. Malaysian authourities later detained them as illegal migrants. A long process of escape, re-victimisation and rescue culminated in their appearance in court to testify against Ms. Khunthea in Bangkok.

Thailand and Cambodia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Trafficking in May 2003 and this case represents a stunning success for its implementation.

ECPAT NZ states “It is good to see this type of offender being dealt a serious sentence. It sends a strong message to those contemplating taking advantage of other people and exposing them to sexual exploitation for their own financial gain. Although one might question if the individual in this case was the mastermind of the trafficking and whether there are others implicated but not prosecuted, it nevertheless does sound a warning that anyone convicted can expect to receive a serious sentencing.”


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