Cablegate: Cambodia: 2007 1st Quarter Report On Trafficking in Persons

DE RUEHPF #0582/01 1150244
P 250244Z APR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

D. 06 PHNOM PENH 1954
E. 06 PHNOM PENH 1235

1. (U) Summary. During the first quarter of 2007, the Cambodian
police arrested seven human traffickers and eighteen pimps. At
least 60 victims of sexual trafficking and 39 victims of labor
trafficking were identified during the reporting period, and 52 sex
workers removed from brothels. Three foreigners, including an
Amcit, were arrested during the reporting period for crimes against
children. Cambodian courts sentenced 25 human traffickers, eleven
pimps and five foreign pedophiles to prison terms under the
trafficking law. End Summary.

Police Action

2. (U) On January 1, the Phnom Penh Anti-TIP Police arrested Amcit
Roger Green Dale for sexually abusing two underage Cambodian girls,
ages 12 and 14. Police also arrested the mother of the girls for
her involvement in the exploitation of the girls. Green and the
mother were charged with debauchery and trafficking, respectively,
and detained at Prey Sar Prison. Police turned the victims over to
the Municipal Department of Social Affairs for further referral to
NGOs for counseling and other support services.

3. (U) On January 4, based on a complaint from the victim's
mother, the Kampong Chhnang police raided a brothel, rescuing a 16
year-old victim and three other women, reported ADHOC. During the
raid, police closed the brothel and arrested two pimps, who were
later released after paying USD 150 to the victim's mother to
withdraw her complaint. The victim and the three women returned to
their families. However, the report from the Anti-Human Trafficking
and Juvenile Protection Department identified only the three adult
sex workers.

4. (U) On January 5, Cambodian police along the Koh Kong-Thailand
border arrested a woman for attempting to traffic a girl across the
border for sexual exploitation. According to ADHOC's report, the
suspect was released by the district police who brokered a
negotiation between the two parties. The girl's father received
15,000 Thai Bhat (USD 428) from the perpetrator in exchange for
withdrawing the complaint. The victim's father reported the
incident to the police after realizing that his daughter was
missing. The victim returned to her family.

5. (U) On January 16, police of the Anti-Human Trafficking and
Juvenile Protection Department cooperated with the police of Kampot
province to conduct a brothel raid, based on AFESIP's November 2006
complaint. The raid resulted in the arrest of four suspects and the
removal of seven sex workers, ages 20 to 26. The victims returned
to their community after spending 15 days at an AFESIP shelter. The
perpetrators were charged with pimping and are in pretrial

6. (U) On January 18, police of the Koh Kong Anti-TIP Unit, in
cooperation with the local offices of NGOs ADHOC and LICADHO, raided
a brothel in the province, based on a complaint from an 18 year-old
victim. During the raid, police arrested only the pimp's mother,
whom they later released. The pimp and three accomplices escaped
before the police arrived. The victim was lured from Phnom Penh by
one of the accomplices, and forced to provide sexual service at the
brothel. She managed to escape after she fell seriously ill, at
which time the pimp took her to a local hospital for treatment. The
victim was referred to AFESIP for vocational training, and received
legal representation from the NGO Legal Support for Children and
Women. The pimp has reportedly returned to the brothel, which was
reopened a few days after the raid. NGOs have urged police to arrest
the pimp.

7. (U) On January 21, police of the Phnom Penh Anti-TIP Unit
arrested a British national allegedly for sexually abusing two
underage boys, ages 12 and 14. The Phnom Penh Court prosecutor
charged the suspect on January 23. Police turned the boys over to
the Department of Social Affairs for further referral to NGOs.

8. (U) On January 28, police in Siem Reap province arrested a
Canadian national for sexually abusing a 13- year-old female beggar.
The suspect allegedly brought the victim, along with three other
girls, to his guesthouse, leaving the three girls waiting
downstairs. After waiting a period of time, the girls informed the
girl's mother, who in turn, informed the police. During the police
interview, the victim stated that the suspect sexually abused her.
The suspect is in pretrial detention, and the girl returned to her

9. (U) On February 1, based on a preliminary International Justice

PHNOM PENH 00000582 002 OF 004

Mission (IJM) investigation, the Siem Reap police raided a massage
parlor in the province, arresting four Vietnamese owners and removed
28 Vietnamese female sex workers, eleven of whom were underage.
Police sent the suspects to the provincial court to face charges.
The 28 sex workers were put into the care of a World Hope
International shelter.

10. (U) On February 3, the Cambodian police of the Ministry of
Interior enforced a search warrant on the Leang Hour Hotel, formerly
known as Chhay Hour II, resulting in the arrest of three suspects
and the rescue of four victims (see Reftel C). The Phnom Penh court
charged the suspects with pimping, debauchery and human trafficking,
and issued a detention warrant. The victims were initially referred
to AFESIP shelter, but they left shortly afterwards.

11. (U) On February 13, IJM assisted the Siem Riep police in a
raid on Massage Place No. 66 in the tourist town of Siem Riep. As a
result of the raid, seven victims were rescued, of whom three were
underage, and one perpetrator was arrested. Two victims were
immediately released to their families by the police while the other
five were placed with the NGO shelter run by World Hope
International which subsequently released them to their families.

12. (U) On March 6, the Sihanoukville police conducted a raid on a
guesthouse operating as a front for prostitution, which resulted in
the arrest of one pimp and the removal of nine adult Vietnamese sex
workers. Police charged the suspect with pimping and placed him in
pretrial detention. Police referred the Vietnamese women to the
Department of Social Affairs, who in turn referred them to the
Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC) shelter for care. According
to CWCC, however, not all the women are sex workers.

13. (U) On March 21, the Koh Kong Provincial Police arrested two
suspects, ages 16 and 18, for the trafficking of a 15-year-old girl
for sexual exploitation. The whereabouts of the victim are not
included in the police report. The suspects are charged with human
trafficking and are in pretrial detention.

14. (U) On March 26, after a botched police raid by the Battambang
Anti-TIP police; the NGO PJJ convinced a pimp to release a 15
year-old victim who is originally from Banteay Meanchey province.
The victim was originally trafficked into a brothel in Siem Reap and
subsequently resold to a brothel in Battambang. In the Battambang
brothel, the victim was forced to provide sexual services and take
drugs. She managed to use a customer's mobile phone to call her
family who subsequently contacted PJJ. The NGO informed the police
about her plight after which the police obtained a warrant to raid
the brothel. However, the information about the raid leaked before
the police arrived, and the suspect escaped and removed the victim
and other sex workers to another location. PJJ then asked the
police to contact the pimp who convinced him that if he released the
victim then no further police action would be pursued. The victim
was released and is currently in NGO shelter care and in contact
with her family. PJJ continues to pursue the case to arrest the
pimp who is suspected of being a military police official with the
rank of Master Sergeant who reportedly goes by the names- Nhen Rey,
and Hang Borey- and the nickname Vuth.

Court Cases

15. (U) On January 10, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court tried a
pimping case, involving a Vietnamese pimp and five adult Vietnamese
sex workers. The court convicted the pimp to five years'
imprisonment. According to the court report, the sex workers were
aged between 19 and 30 years of age. Police arrested the pimp in
May 2006.

16. (U) On January 15, the Sihanoukville Court sentenced a
Vietnamese female to 16 years in prison and two Khmer females to 15
years in prison respectively for trafficking. The Khmer females had
been arrested for trying to sell their granddaughter and daughter,
respectively, to the Vietnamese trafficker.

17. (U) On January 16, the Phnom Penh Court sentenced three
suspected traffickers to 15 years for the attempted trafficking of a
22-year-old woman. Police arrested the suspects in July 2006.

18. (U) On January 19, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted
two Vietnamese nationals for pimping and a Swiss national for
debauchery and sentenced each of the three men to 12 years
imprisonment. According to the court report, the case involved a
14-year-old Vietnamese victim. Police arrested the suspects in June

19. (U) Also on January 19, the Phnom Penh Court tried another
pimping case, sentencing a Vietnamese pimp in absentia to seven
years imprisonment. The court report showed that the suspect was
arrested in March 2004, but was released on bail in April the same
year. The report identified three women, ages 18 to 28, as victims

PHNOM PENH 00000582 003 OF 004

in the case.

20. (U) On January 21, the Phnom Penh Court acquitted a Vietnamese
pimp, who was arrested in May 2006 for the pimping of six Vietnamese
girls. The court's report did not specify the age of the girls nor
the reason for the acquittal.

21. (U) On January 22, the Appeals Court tried a trafficking case
involving two perpetrators and an 18-year-old victim. The court
sentenced the perpetrators to ten years imprisonment and ordered
payment of five million riels (USD 1,250) in compensation to the

22. (U) On January 24, the Phnom Penh Court tried another pimping
case, convicting the pimp to five years in prison. Police arrested
the pimp in July 2006 for running a brothel. There are no victims
identified in the court's report.

23. (U) On January 30, the Phnom Penh Court tried a pimping case,
involving four adult sex workers, ages 20 to 24, and a male
Cambodian pimp. The Court sentenced the pimp, who was arrested in
December 2005, to five years imprisonment.

24. (U) On February 8, the Court of Appeals decided that the
conditions of release for Chea Sovannary, the girlfriend of
suspected Amcit sex offender Terry Smith, should be revoked and a
warrant should be issued for her rearrest. In August 2006, facing
trafficking charges, she had been released from jail to take care of
Terry Smith when he was granted bail on medical grounds by the
Sihanoukville Court. Terry Smith was subsequently rearrested and
deported to the U.S. to face PROTECT ACT charges in September 2006
(Reftel D).

25. (U) On February 21, the Stung Treng Provincial Court conducted
the hearing of a pimping case, sentencing one perpetrator to five
years in prison and another to eight years for the pimping of four
Cambodian victims.

26. (U) Also on February 21, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court
acquitted a suspect charged with the pimping of six Vietnamese
women, due to lack of evidence. The women are ages 23 to 25.

27. (U) On February 27, the Sihanoukville Provincial Court
sentenced in absentia a German national to ten years for sexually
abusing six boys, and ordered the compensation of USD 2,000 to the
six victims. The suspect committed the crime in November 2005, but
he was never arrested. APLE complained that the authorities failed
to act promptly in this case.

28. (U) On March 2, a trial judge of the Phnom Penh Court tried a
trafficking case, convicting and sentencing three human traffickers
to twelve years imprisonment. Police arrested the suspect in August
2006 for attempting to traffick a Vietnamese girl for sexual
exploitation. The age of the victim is not identified in the court

29. (U) Following a closed door hearing on March 2, the Phnom Penh
Municipal court on March 6 announced the verdict of a debauchery
case, convicting a 68-year-old Swiss national to eleven years in
prison for the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl, and ordered the
compensation of five million riels (USD 1,200) to the victim. The
court also ordered that the convict be barred from returning to
Cambodia upon completion of his sentence. Police arrested the
suspect in August 2006, while he was in the company of the victim.

30. (U) On March 3, the Phnom Penh Court tried a trafficking case
involving three Vietnamese suspects. The court convicted and
sentenced the suspects to twelve years imprisonment for the
attempted cross- border trafficking of Vietnamese girls to Malaysia
for sexual exploitation. According to newspaper reports, Cambodian
police arrested the suspects in July 2006 after receiving complaints
from the victims, accusing the suspect of luring them to Malaysia
with the promise of work. The victims were not identified in the

31. (U) On March 9, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted two
German and three Vietnamese nationals of crimes involving the
trafficking and sexual exploitation of four underage children in
August 2006. The two German nationals were sentenced to 12 years in
prison for the sexual abuse of the victims. One of them received an
additional 16 years imprisonment on trafficking charges due to his
role in procuring the victims for the purpose of sexual
exploitation. The three Vietnamese nationals, including the mother
of one of the victims, received prison terms ranging from 15-17
years apiece for their roles in the forced exploitation of the
victims. The Phnom Penh Municipal Police's Anti-TIP Unit arrested
five people in August 2006 as a result of NGO APLE's investigation.

32. (U) On March 13, the Phnom Penh Court conducted the hearing of

PHNOM PENH 00000582 004 OF 004

a trafficking case involving a victim and three suspects, who were
arrested in September 2003. According to the court report, only one
the suspects has been in pretrial detention; the others were
released on bail. The court acquitted one of the suspects, but
convicted and sentenced the other two to 12 years imprisonment, and
ordered them pay USD 1,000 compensation to the victim.

33. (U) On March 16, the Sihanoukville Provincial Court announced
the verdict of a trafficking case, which was initially tried on
March 9. The case involved three suspects and five victims, some of
whom are underage. The court acquitted two of the suspects, and
sentenced one of them to five years in prison and ordered him to pay
compensation of USD 2,000 to the victims (See Reftel A).

34. (U) Also on March 19, the Appeals Court upheld the decision of
the Battambang Provincial Court by convicting and sentencing a pimp
to eight years imprisonment for the pimping of 14 Vietnamese women
ages 17 to 30. Police arrested the suspect in a brothel raid in
June 2004, by the Battambang Provincial Court handed down the
conviction in January 2005.

35. (U) On March 21, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court acquitted Meng
Say, former Chief of the Phnom Penh Anti-TIP Unit, of the extortion
charge he faced in 2006 (See Reftel E).

36. (U) On March 28, the Phnom Penh Court tried a trafficking case
involving five suspects and three victims. The court convicted
three traffickers to prison terms ranging between 10 and 13 years,
and convicted in absentia two brothel owners to 15 years
imprisonment. Police arrested the suspects in July 2006 (see Reftel


37. (U) A 10-year-old girl of Kampong Thom province, who was
abducted by her parents' acquaintance returned home on February 12,
after her parents sought assistance from ADHOC and the local police.
The abductor, who managed to escape, brought the victim to Kampong
Thom Market for an unidentified purpose. ADHOC assisted the family
in filing a complaint with the court.

38. (U) On January 29, a 24-year-old woman who was trafficked for
sexual exploitation in Thailand, and then to Malaysia returned home
with the help of CWCC. After having worked as a prostitute in
Malaysia for one year, the victim was arrested and detained by
Malaysian authorities. She informed her mother of her situation,
who requested help from CWCC. CWCC contacted Cambodian authorities
in Malaysia and later assisted with her return. The victim returned
to her family; she did not press any charges against her trafficker.

39. (SBU) A 23-year-old sex worker in Ratanakiri province was
hospitalized by her pimp after refusing to return to the brothel to
work. The victims accused her pimp and his accomplices of forcing
her to work against her will, although she has been working as a
prostitute in the brothel for a prolonged period of time. Police
has not made any arrest in the case. (Note: Mr. Pen Bunna, an
ADHOC staff member based in the province, alleged that the local
authorities -- the police, the military and the court -- provide
protection to brothel owners and rarely take action against cases of
abuse. End Note).

40. (SBU) Twenty-seven Cambodian workers, who went to work in
Malaysia in 2005, are now under detention in a Malaysian prison
after they fled from their workplace due to bad working conditions
and breach of contract. LICADHO reported that the 27 workers went
to Malaysia in 2005 through the Quatar Human Resource labor export
company. The NGO is working with concerned agencies to return the
detained workers. (see Reftel B).

41. (U) Seven Cambodian men who were sold to a Thai fishing
company and forced to work against their will are still waiting to
return to Cambodia. They contacted their families on February 27,
who in turn asked ADHOC for assistance in their repatriation.

42. (U) During the three-month reporting period, CWCC reported
receiving an additional five cases of legal migration to Malaysia
which resulted in the exploitation and abusive treatment of the


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