This weekend in Phnom Penh, Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police Officers (AHTJP) together with AIM SWAT investigators carried out a total of 4 raids, rescued 5 minors and 6 women, and arrested 9 traffickers.
FRIDAY COFFEE SHOP RAID
The first raid happened on the afternoon of Friday, June 9th, following a 3 month covert surveillance operation conducted jointly with the Phnom Penh AHTJP and AIM SWAT on a brothel fronting as a café in central Phnom Penh. The investigation found that young girls were being brought from Vietnam and sold to customers for sex in rooms behind the coffee shop.
Upon raiding the coffee shop, 2 minors and 6 women were rescued, and 3 Vietnamese traffickers were arrested. Both minors were taken to AIM Restoration Home and the women were welcomed at one of AIM’s Transitional Homes where they are all receiving specialized aftercare services.
When faced with the overwhelming evidence of their crimes, all 3 people arrested admitted to trafficking the women and girls. All 3 traffickers were sent to court and subsequently charged with child sex trafficking related offenses and are currently in prison awaiting their sentencing.
SATURDAY MULTI-SITE RAIDS
On Saturday, June 10th the AHTJP and AIM SWAT investigators teamed up again to carry out 3 raids in Phnom Penh that resulted in the rescue of a 14 year old and two 15 year old girls as well as the arrest of 6 traffickers. Sadly, one of the traffickers was the mother of a rescued girl.
The raids followed a month long joint AIM SWAT and AHTJP investigation into information that young girls were being sold by brokers for sex from Wat Phnom (the central Buddhist temple) to customers at local guesthouses. The first raid happened at a guesthouse where the 3 girls had just been brought by two of the traffickers intending to sell them to customers there. Following this, 2 raids were executed simultaneously at different areas of Phnom Penh to arrest the others involved in the trafficking ring.
As always, AIM Social Workers were on the scene to provide immediate comfort and care to the victims of these terrible crimes. The young girls have shared that they were sold initially for their virginities years before, and since then have been regularly sold to customers for sex. Having been forced to have sex with men without using condoms, one of the girls had become pregnant. Her traffickers had forced her to have an abortion only the day before being rescued, and she was then being sold again the following day. These 3 girls have now been welcomed at AIM Restoration Home where they are receiving aftercare help and support.
Again, when faced with the evidence gathered against them, all 6 of the people arrested admitted their roles in trafficking and have been charged at court with child sex trafficking and related offenses. Today they are in prison awaiting their sentencing.
We thank God for the success of these raids as well as our supporters who help make them possible! Please be in prayer for the 11 survivors who have a long road of recovery ahead of them.
For more information about AIM SWAT Team and the work they do, click HERE.