FROM THE AIM RESCUE TEAM DIRECTOR:
At 4pm on Monday the 23rd May, a Khmer woman was arrested on suspicion of trying to sell 2 girls for their virginities and an additional 2 school girls for sex following an operation authorized by the Phnom Penh Prosecutor. This followed a 2-week investigation conducted by the Phnom Penh Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police (AHTJP) Department and the AIM Rescue Team, which confirmed information received that the suspect was trying to sell girls for their virginities from a new KTV (karaoke bar) where she was working as a Manager. The suspect was charging $2,500 for each virgin girl and $200 for each of the non-virgin school girls. The suspect was arrested while attempting to deliver the 4 victims to customers at a nearby guesthouse. All 4 girls, ages 15, 16, 17 & 18, were rescued at the time of the arrest and have now been transferred to AIM Restoration Home for rehabilitation and aftercare.
During interviews, the girls stated that they knew they were being sold for sex but, having been either sold by their families already to the suspect or feeling compelled to earn money for their impoverished families, they felt they had to go through with it. During an interview, the suspect admitted to selling the girls but denied benefitting financially from the arrangement, claiming she wanted to help their poor families. The suspect has been charged with child sex trafficking offenses and remanded to prison to await trial. The AIM Rescue Legal Team will provide free legal representation throughout the case to the victims.
This is the first successful virgin sale case in Cambodia in many years and hopefully marks a breakthrough in the criminal justice system being able to deal with such cases in future.
For more information about AIM Rescue Team and the work they do, click HERE.