As we wrap up the year, AIM SWAT and local police continue to work day in and day out to find traffickers and rescue survivors. See what they’ve been up to this fall!
Are you interested in learning more about the SWAT Team and how they work? Click here!
On October 18th, at about 8 pm, local police and AIM SWAT raided a brothel disguised as a massage parlor in Phnom Penh. This raid followed covert surveillance which seemed to confirm that minors were being sold on the premises. During the operation, 1 minor and 2 adults were rescued, while 2 suspects were detained. The brothel was then closed by local authorities.
The survivors explained to police that they were sold for sex to the profit of both suspects. In turn, the suspects admitted to this crime. They both have been charged with child sex trafficking-related offenses and will await trial from prison.
The women have been taken to AIM’s Transitional Home, while the minor is now being cared for at AIM’s Restoration Home. We pray that they all find healing and freedom through the love of Christ during their time with AIM. Additionally, AIM’s legal team will represent all 3 in the upcoming court proceedings.
On the afternoon of October 19th, AIM SWAT and local police in Kampong Speu Province (west of Phnom Penh) conducted a raid of a restaurant, KTV, and guesthouse. All 3 establishments were housed on one site. The operation was the result of covert surveillance which confirmed that minors were being sold for sex to customers on the site. During the raid, 8 were rescued – 6 minors and 2 adults – and 2 suspects were detained.
The site was subsequently closed after the search and seizure of evidence. During interviews, those rescued told police that they were sold to the profit of those managing the restaurant, KTV, and guesthouse. One suspect admitted to this and, while one denied the accusations, both have been charged with child sex trafficking-related offenses. They will both await trial from prison.
AIM’s legal team will represent all the survivors in the proceeding court case. 3 of the minors were taken to AIM’s Restoration Home to be cared for, while 3 were transferred to a partner aftercare home, which provides the same level of care. The adults were assisted by the district’s local affairs office. Please join us in prayer for the healing and safety of all the survivors!
A 14-year-old survivor initiated the investigation and eventual rescue of her adopted sister on November 3rd! After being sold herself, the girl reached out to Cambodia’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs for help. She was connected with the Anti-Trafficking police and AIM SWAT to investigate. Because of her bravery, one suspect was arrested and her adopted sister was also rescued! The suspect was the legal guardian of both girls through adoption.
During interviews, both girls told police that they were being sold, although the suspect denied all allegations. She has been charged and will await trial from prison. The older girl was taken to a partner aftercare center, while the younger girl was taken to AIM’s Restoration Home for care and support.
On November 7th, AIM SWAT assisted local police in the arrest of one female suspect and the rescue of three young girls that were with her. The day before, a parent of one of the girls came to the police because her daughter was missing. AIM SWAT subsequently assisted police in investigating. Information uncovered during the investigation led them to believe the girl was in an apartment with a trafficker. When police searched the apartment, they found two other girls along with the girl reported to be missing.
During interviews with police, the two other girls explained that they had been sold by the suspect to customers for sex. The girl who had initially been reported missing had yet to be sold. The suspect made a full admission during interviews. She has been charged with child trafficking-related offenses and will await trial from prison. All of the girls have been taken to AIM’s Restoration Home where they will be cared for through their healing process. AIM’s Legal Team will represent them all during the upcoming trial.
On November 21st, AIM SWAT assisted police in the raid of two KTVs in Kampong Cham Province just northeast of the capital city. The raid followed covert surveillance which confirmed that girls were being sold for sex to customers of the establishments. During the operation, 3 minors and 12 adults were rescued! One suspect was detained and, after the search and seizure of evidence, the locations were closed for good.
Following interviews, the suspect was charged with trafficking-related offenses and will remain in prison until trial. The minors rescued were taken to a partner aftercare center where they will be cared for. The adults were offered assistance through the local social affairs office. AIM’s Legal Team will be available to represent all 15 survivors in upcoming court proceedings.
On December 7th, AIM SWAT assisted local police in raiding TWO brothels fronting as massage parlors in Phnom Penh. This operation resulted in the rescue of 2 minors and 6 adults! One suspect, the owner of the “massage parlors” was taken into custody by police. The raid was initiated after covert surveillance indicated that minors were being transported between the two locations to be sold to customers for sex.
During interviews with police, the majority of those rescued explained that they were sold to customers to profit the owner. The suspect subsequently confessed and was charged with child sex trafficking-related offenses. The minors have been taken to AIM’s Restoration Home for care and support, while the adults are being cared for by a partner aftercare center. AIM’s Legal Team will offer all survivors free representation for all upcoming court proceedings.
On Friday, December 9th, AIM SWAT supported local police in arresting an adult female on suspicion of procuring the prostitution of a minor. The arrest followed a complaint they received from the aunt of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by her employer at a bakery owned by a married couple in Phnom Penh.
The wife attempted to persuade the girl and her 14-year-old cousin to have sex with her husband for money. They both refused, but the woman tricked the youngest girl who was then attacked by the husband. After her arrest, the woman admitted to it all and has since been charged with child sex trafficking-related offenses. We are currently assisting police in locating the husband who appears to have fled. The 13-year-old girl was transferred to AIM’s Restoration Home while the 14-year-old girl was taken home to her family. AIM’s legal team will support both girls throughout the upcoming court proceedings.
As the year came to a close, AIM SWAT continued to assist the local police in investigating instances of human trafficking! This led to a raid conducted on Wednesday, December 21st near Phnom Penh. After surveillance confirmed the sale of minors on the premises, AIM SWAT and local police entered a massage parlor/brothel. During the raid, 2 underaged girls were rescued and 2 suspects were arrested! The brothel was subsequently closed by officials.
During interviews with police, the girls – ages 14 and 16 – explained that they were sold for sex to the profit of the 2 suspects. Both suspects admitted to this and were charged with child sex trafficking-related offenses. Both of the girls were taken to a partner aftercare center where they will receive care and support through their healing process. AIM’s Legal Team will represent the girls in upcoming court appearances.
We are so proud of all that AIM SWAT has accomplished this year in partnership with local police. Stay tuned with us to hear more incredible stories of victory and justice in 2023!
Want to read more about AIM SWAT’s work in 2022? Check out our other updates:
RESCUES MADE POSSIBLE BY…
Thanks to our incredible partners at Operation Underground Railroad, Life Outreach International, and modern-day abolitionists like YOU, we get to rescue these children from the unimaginable. Together we fight against the world’s greatest evil, doing whatever it takes to defeat it.