The Siem Reap provincial court on Tuesday detained a 23-year-old woman at the provincial prison for procuring children for the purposes of prostitution and the exploitation of child labour in May.
Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesman Yin Srang told The Post on Tuesday that court prosecutor Keut Vannareth had issued a warrant to detain the suspect for forcing five girls to be street beggars and sleep with foreigners.
Srang said provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection officers arrested the suspect on Monday while she was staying in Siem Reap district’s Svay Dangkum commune.
Siem Reap provincial police chief Tith Narong told The Post on Tuesday that the woman was detained after a court warrant was issued by Siem Reap provincial court prosecutor Vannareth on Monday.
“She was sent to court immediately after the police arrested her,” he said.
Narong said after the suspect was arrested, experts questioned her and wrote down her answers in a report to be sent to the provincial court. He said the five children were sent to the provincial Department of Social Affairs to be cared for.
“We only arrested one person, who was the mastermind. Nobody else was involved. We have already investigated and questioned her. She was the only one who instructed the five children,” he said.
A local media employee, who wished to remain anonymous, indicated that the five girls were forced to become beggars at Phsar Chas market, working from 7pm until 3am.
The source said that they were told to meet by a wooden bridge near Ta Prohm Hotel and told to pay 10,000 riel to 20,000 riel ($2.50 to $5) for their accommodation.
If the children did not do as the suspect asked, the source said, she would lash out at them and force them to take drugs.
The source said if any foreigners wanted to sleep with the children, the suspect would act as translator and take commission fees from them.
According to Article 30 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, a person who, directly or through an intermediary, manages, exploits, operates or finances an establishment of prostitution shall be punished with imprisonment from two to five years.