As we being 2022, AIM SWAT has hit the ground running in assisting local police in investigating cases, rescuing survivors, and arresting perpetrators of trafficking. With this great start, we pray for continued success and for justice to prevail throughout 2022. It’s only with the support of our generous community that AIM SWAT is able to do what they do and help equip local police to fight trafficking. Thank you! Read on to hear the stories from this season…
On January 19th, AIM SWAT assisted local police in the raid of a brothel fronting as a massage parlor in central Phnom Penh, pictured here. Covert surveillance had confirmed that minors were being sold for sex on the premises. 2 minors and 3 adults were rescued! One suspect was arrested and, after evidence was gathered and processed, the brothel was closed.
During interviews, all of the survivors told police that they were sold to the profit of the suspect. The suspect also admitted to this and has been charged with child sex trafficking related offenses. They will await trial from prison. All of the survivors are being cared for by partner aftercare providers in the area. AIM’s legal team will represent all survivors during further court proceedings.
At a guesthouse in the Pailin Province of Cambodia, local police and AIM SWAT detained a man who was in the process of trafficking 3 girls on January 26th. All of the girls were rescued at the time of the raid! This was the result of an investigation confirming that the suspect, who was a manager at a local restaurant, was selling the girls, also employees of the restaurant, to customers for sex.
During interviews, 2 of the girls told police they had been sold to the profit of the suspect. The third explained that this would have been the first time she would have been sold if she hadn’t been rescued. The girls went on to say that the suspect had persuaded them into this situation with the promise of financial security. All girls have been transferred to AIM’s Restoration Home where they will receive care. The suspect has been charged with child sex trafficking related offenses. AIM’s legal team will represent all of the girls in upcoming court proceedings.
When a 13-year-old ran away from home, worried parents contacted police when they found out she was working at a brothel. After confirming this information, AIM SWAT assisted police in Siem Reap in detaining a female suspect on suspicion of running this brothel. During the raid 4 minor girls were rescued, including the 13-year-old. After detaining the suspect and gathering evidence, the brothel was closed for good!
During her interview, the girl explained that she had left home following a family argument and had been persuaded to work at the brothel by the suspect. The other three survivors provided similar testimonies. The suspect was charged with child sex trafficking related offenses and will remain in prison while awaiting trial. AIM’s legal team will represent all the survivors throughout the forthcoming court proceedings.
On February 10th, AIM SWAT helped local police shut down a brothel fronting as a massage parlor in southern Phnom Penh. During the raid, 3 minors and 3 adults were rescued! This operation was the result of covert surveillance, which confirmed that minors were bing sold at the site.
After searching the premises, police arrested one female suspect and shut down the brothel for good! All of the survivors told police that they were forced to have sex with customers to the profit of the suspect. She has been charged with child sex trafficking related offenses.
All survivors are being cared for by AIM’s Restoration Programs – the minors went to our Restoration Home, and the adults went to our transitional home in Phnom Penh. Our legal team will assist them in the upcoming court cases.
On March 30th, 2022, AIM SWAT assisted local police in the arrest of a female suspected of being involved in the trafficking of her 15 year old niece. This arrest was the culmination of months of investigation after a report of the incident was made to police in September of 2021. The survivor had confided in her sister-in-law that her mother and aunt had sold her to a foreign man for sex in November of 2020. The aunt had been working at a western bar near the Phnom Penh riverfront, where she had arranged the meeting with the man. The girl also told her grandmother of the incident, who made the report to police. The mother was arrested and a warrant was issued for the arrest of the aunt, who had quit her job and was unable to be located at the time. After an extensive covert investigation, the aunt was found and charged with child sex trafficking related offenses.
The girl is safely with her grandmother and AIM’s aftercare team will continue to follow up with her through the healing process. AIM’s legal team will be available to provide assistance in the upcoming court proceedings.
2 new staff join aim’s swat team
This year, AIM’s SWAT Team created a new position that has likely never been seen in Cambodia. Ny Soda and Vann Tola will be Victim Advocates, working with survivors and their families as they prepare for court hearings and trials. These new team members will be the liaison between clients, aftercare NGOs, and our legal team. This is an incredibly important role, not just for helping and supporting survivors through this difficult period, but to ensure proper conviction of their traffickers.
We are excited for Soda and Tola and the help they will bring to our team and the survivors we work with. We are thankful for their hearts and passion for this fight against trafficking!
Click here for our Spring 2022 SWAT update.
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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.