Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 13-YEAR-OLD girl testified yesterday at the close of the trial of three women charged with recruiting underage child prostitutes in Phnom Penh.

Deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Keu Bunnara, said yesterday that Keo Socheat, 56, Morm Pheang, 50, and Son Savin, 26, were arrested on May 31 last year, over allegations that they recruited at least one girl for child prostitution at a guesthouse in capital’s Tuol Kork district.

He added that police from the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office at the Ministry of Interior made the arrest, when a 13-year old girl was brought to the Tumnerb guesthouse in Phsar Depot III commune to allegedly have sex with a client for $1,200 per week.

The 13-year-old victim testified yesterday that on May 15 last year she left her home in the Anduong Meas commune of Takeo province’s Prey Kabas district to find work as a garment worker in Phnom Penh.

She stayed in Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune with suspect Son Savin, who tried to help her find work as a waitress but she was too young to be employed.

The victim testified that on May 25 last year she met with Keo Socheat who promised to find her work as a garment worker.

“She told me that there was a work for me with a good salary and I was very happy to hear this. I hoped that I would able to make money to support my mother who lived in the province,” she said, adding that Keo Socheat took her to have her blood checked for sexually transmitted diseases and her virginity confirmed at a clinic.

“I was later sent by her to sleep with a man at the guesthouse for a salary of US$200 per week. However, I was very lucky because I was immediately rescued by the police while walking into the room.”

The victim has asked for $2,000 compensation from the suspects and Keu Bunnara has asked the court for a heavy sentence to prevent future incidents of child prostitution.

“Keo Socheat is a human trafficker in Cambodia and is also the mastermind of bringing this victim to have sex with a [client] at the guesthouse. Morm Pheang and Son Savin are the accomplices in this crime,” Keu Bunnara alleged.

Chin Da, a police officer at the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office, said that police had spent a week investigating the three suspects before their arrest.

“According to our investigation and research, these people used to bring many young girls to have sex with the guests at hotels and guesthouses in Phnom Penh. They were selling the victims for sex from $1,200 to $1,500 per week and they could get a commission of between $150 and $200 per girl,” he said yesterday.

Keo Socheat confessed to procuring the victim for prostitution in court yesterday, but claimed that she did not know she was breaking the law.

“I accept that I brought the victim to sleep with a man at the guesthouse. The reason why I have decided to commit this is because she had asked me to do it. On the other hand, I could make some money to support my family,” she said.

“I did not know that my activity is against the law. So I would like to ask the court to reduce the sentence against me.”

Son Savin claimed in court yesterday that she was not involved with the crime and asked to have her charges dropped.

“I am innocent person,” she said.

Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Ker Sakhorn, said yesterday that purchasing child prostitution or recruiting children as prostitutes is a serious crime and the court will issue a verdict for the three suspects on May 5.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AN 18-year-old man has been charged with raping four girls in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town, police said.

Uth Sarith was arrested on Friday at his home in Prochea Them village following complaints from the parents of the girls, who were all aged 11 at the time of the alleged rapes.

Lieutenant Colonel Men Phearom, Deputy Commander of Poipet District Military Police, said yesterday that the suspected offences took place between 2008 and 2010.

The girls, he said, have alleged that they were all raped, on separate occasions, after watching television at Uth Sarith’s home and were given 2,000 riel afterwards.

“He was officially charged on Saturday with rape and sent to the provincial court in Banteay Meanchey for questioning,” said Men Phearom.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE women charged with recruiting underage girls for child prostitution in Phnom Penh saw their trial end yesterday, with a verdict to be announced early next month.
Keu Bunnara, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said in court yesterday that Keo Socheat, 56, Morm Pheang, 50, and Son Savin, 26, were arrested on May 31 last year in Phnom Penh, over allegations that they recruited at least one girl for child prostitution at a guesthouse in Tuol Kork district.
He added that police from the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office at the Ministry of Interior made the arrest, when a 13-year old girl was brought to the Tumnerb guesthouse in Phsar Depot III commune to allegedly have sex with a client at a price of $1,200 per week.
The 13-year-old victim testified yesterday that on May 15 last year she left her home in the Anduong Meas commune of Takeo province’s Prey Kabas district to find work as a garment worker in Phnom Penh.
She then stayed in Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune with her aunt, suspect Son Savin, who tried to help her find work as a Karaoke parlour waitress in Phnom Penh among other places, but she was too young to be employed.
The victim testified that on May 25 last year she met with Keo Socheat who promised to find her work as a garment worker.
“She told me that there was a work for me with a good salary and I was very happy to hear this. I hoped that I would able to make money to support my mother who lived in the province,” she said, adding that the suspect then took her to have her blood checked for sexually transmitted diseases and her virginity confirmed at a clinic.
“I was later sent by her to sleep with a man at the guesthouse for a salary of US$200 per week. However, I was very lucky because I was immediately rescued by the police while walking into the room.”
The victim has asked for $2,000 compensation from the suspects and Keu Bunnara has asked the court for a heavy sentence to prevent future incidents of child prostitution.
“Keo Socheat is a human trafficker in Cambodia and is also the mastermind of bringing this victim to have sex with a [client] at the guesthouse. Morm Pheang and Son Savin are the accomplices in this crime,” Keu Bunnara said.
Chin Da, a police officer at the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office at the Ministry of Interior, said that police had spent one week investigating the three suspects before they were arrested on May 31 last year.
“According to our investigation and research, these people used to bring many young girls to have sex with the guests at hotels and guesthouses in Phnom Penh. They are selling the victims for sex from $1,200 to $1,500 per week and they could get a commission of between $150 and $200 per girl,” he said yesterday.
Keo Socheat confessed to procuring the victim for prostitution in court yesterday, but claimed that she did not know she was breaking the law.
“I accept that I brought the victim to sleep with a man at the guesthouse. The reason why I have decided to commit this is because she had asked me to do it. On the other hand, I could make some money to support my family,” she said.
“I did not know that my activity is against the law. So I would like to ask the court to reduce the sentence against me.”
Son Savin claimed in court yesterday that she was not involved with the crime and asked to have her charges dropped.
“I am innocent person and I knew nothing about this crime,” she said.
Ker Sakhorn, Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said yesterday that purchasing child prostitution or recruiting children as prostitutes is a serious crime and the court will issue a verdict for the three suspects on May 5.

RCAF official on drug charges

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A MAJOR in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and his girlfriend were charged with drug trafficking offences in Preah Sihanouk province on Saturday, provincial officials said yesterday.

Provincial deputy police chief Chor Heng said that Major Eng Sopharoath, 26, and his 23-year-old girlfriend were arrested on Thursday in Mittapheap district’s Mittapheap commune in connection with drug trafficking activities.

“[Eng Sopharoath] was arrested while he was driving,” he said, adding that Eng Sopharoath had served with the Boundary Land Unit at General Command Headquarters in Phnom Penh.

“This RCAF major and his girlfriend carried drugs from Phnom Penh to sell in Preah Sihanouk province,” he alleged.

Chor Heng said that police had confiscated Eng Sopharoath’s car along with 0.6 grams of yama pills and other drug-related materials.

“They are now being detained at the provincial court for trial,” he said, adding that if found guilty the pair would face at least three years in prison.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO men accused of exporting three kilogrammes of heroin to Australia via a Phnom Penh’s central post office saw their trial conclude yesterday, with a verdict due later this month.

Kor Vandy, presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that 44-year-old karaoke shop owner Ma Sitha faced charges of exporting drugs internationally, and his personal driver, Mao Sothea, 46, was implicated as an alleged accomplice.

They were arrested on August 6 last year at Ma Sitha’s shop locating in the Spar Thmey II commune of Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district and were charged on August 9.

“They are drug traffickers. They sent a total of three kilograms of heroin from Cambodia through the post office to Sydney, Australia, in 2010. They were arrested based on the reports and cooperation of Australian police,” he alleged.

He added that that Ma Sitha had allegedly sent a large package of drugs, with his name and address written on it, via a post office in Phnom Penh to a client in Australia.

The drugs were found by post office staff in Sydney who notified police, he said, who then sent a report to police in Cambodia who arrested the two suspects.

Ek Chheng Huoth, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, alleged in court that the two men were also drug users and had committed additional drug trafficking activities in Cambodia before they were arrested.

“There is enough proof to charge that they both had been involved and committed the international export of drug from Cambodia to Australia as accused,” he said. “I would like to ask the court to strongly punish and jail them.”

Ma Sitha and Mao Sothea denied their charges during a hearing yesterday and said that they knew nothing about the package.

“I am not a drug trafficker. I did not know about the package sent from Cambodia to Australia and I have never been involved with drug trafficking as accused,” Ma Sitha said.

“I think that someone had put my name and personal address on the package in order to blame it on me. So I would like to ask the court to drop the charges against me and release me.”

Mao Sothea made similar claims yesterday: “I was only Ma Sitha’s driver. I did not know about the package. I have also never been involved with both drug abuses and drug trafficking. I am an innocent person and I would like to ask the court to release me.”

Kor Vandy said that their verdicts would be announced on June 30.

Korean Murder Arrested

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A SOUTH Korean businessman was found dead in a condominium in Phnom Penh yesterday, after he stayed there with two female companions. He is thought to have been strangled with an electrical cord.

Vith Darith, chief of Boeng Kak I commune, said yesterday that Jeong Woo Chol, 43, died at an apartment in the De Castle condominium in Tuol Kork district at about 6:30am yesterday morning.

“He died at his friend’s room in the condo. His body now has been sent to be kept at the Embassy of South Korea in Phnom Penh awaiting his family to take it for a funeral,” he said.

Tuy Bunry, a Tuol Kork police officer, said that Jeong Woo Chol came to Cambodia as a businessman earlier this year and had been staying at the Royal Palace Hotel in district before spending one night in his friend’s condo.

Police said the victim visited two South Korean women who worked at a karaoke venue in Phnom Penh on Monday night, one of which was alleged to be his friend’s girlfriend. The three stayed overnight together at the room in the De Castle complex.

“According to his body examination and the police’s pre-investigation, he was killed by the tightening of electric wires on his neck. Because his neck was purple and wounded by the electric cord,” he said.

The two South Korean women were also detained yesterday for questioning in connection with the death, he said.

“Until now, we still do not know about his business activity in Cambodia and we now are still researching and investigating this case to arrest the killers.”
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 26-YEAR-OLD garment worker was sentenced to seven years in jail yesterday for rape of a colleague.

Chim Sothan, a worker at the Suntac factory in Dangkor district, Phnom Penh, was found guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The worker had driven the woman to Boeung Snar, a popular lakeside tourist spot in Russei Keo district, where there are wooden huts for rent and food for sale on June 16. While renting a room at the destination, he raped the woman sparking a complaint.

Chim Sothan was also ordered to pay four million riels (about US$1,000) in compensation by presiding judge Suos Sam Ath yesterday. The victim did not attend court.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE South Koreans were arrested yesterday after a businessman was found murdered in the De Castle housing complex in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district on Tuesday.

District police officer, Tuy Bunry, said those arrested were a 42-year-old Korean man, Sin Mong Hour, and two woman called Kin Chhaing Re, 36, and Chol Julina, 31. All three worked at a karaoke venue in the capital.

Businessman Jeong Woo Chol, 43, was found strangled at the complex early on Tuesday. Police said on Tuesday that he is thought to have died at about 6.30am after visiting a karaoke venue and returning to his friend’s condo with two women.

“These Korean people are the friends of the South Korean businessman who was killed at the De Castle condos. They were arrested in connection with his murder, which happened in their room,” Tuy Bunry told The Post yesterday.

“They are now detained at the office of Tuok Kork District Police for questioning and further investigations before being sent to the court to face charges.”

He added that after during the arrests, police found a 1.15-metre-long length of nylon 1.15 meters and another 1.40 meters of wires hanging inside a bathroom.

The body of Jeong Woo Chol is being kept at the South Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh for awaiting his family in bringing him for funeral.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A CONSTRUCTION worker suffering with mental health problems was jailed yesterday for raping a girl, aged five, in a pagoda last year after giving her money for sweets.

Mom Ngor, aged 20, was found guilty of the offence at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Presiding judge Suos Sam Ath told the court that the worker had approached the girl as she was sitting under a Bohdi tree in Prek Bra pagoda, in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on March 25, 2010, at about 6pm.

“He gave 100 riels to the victim, who was sitting alone in the pagoda under the Bohdi tree, to buy the candies. Then he brought her into a dining room in the pagoda where she was raped,” he said.

“The court has found that he is a guilty man, but because he has mental health issues it is decided to sentence him a five years in jail only,” he added yesterday.

Ing Vanchhean, Mom Ngor’s lawyer, said that a doctor’s certificate stated that Mom Ngor had suffered from mental health problems since childhood.

“He cannot not speak well, and cannot count even the numbers from one to ten. I would like to ask the court to drop charges against him and release him so they he can go back to the hospital for his treatment,” he said during the hearing.

Mong Ngor had denied the charges during his trial, claiming he just bought sweets for the young girl.

__________________

A 20-year old mental man was sentenced yesterday to five years in jail over the rape of a 5-year old girl in Meanchey district, in Phnom Penh in 2010, according to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s judge.

Suos Sam Ath, Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that Mom Ngor, construction worker, was charged with raping of a girl aged less than 15 years in 2010 in Cambodia.

He added that he was arrested by police on 28th March 2010 at the Prek Bra pagoda in Prek Bra village, Prek Bra commune, Meanchey district, in Phnom Penh, based on the complaint of the victim’s family. He has successfully raped the victim at the Prek Bra Pagoda’s dinning room on 25th March 2010 at about 6 pm.

Mom Ngor declined to talk to the Phnom Penh Post yesterday. But during his hearing on May 11, 2011, he denied his charges.

“I recognized that I had really been given 100 riels to her to buy the candies but I did not rape or have sex with her,” he said.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AN armed robber was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday after threatening a Phnom Penh motodop with a pistol last year.

Vin Ny, aged 36, was arrested on August 14 last year in Phnom Penh Thmey commune in Russei Keo district after he robbed the driver the day.

“He has used a pistol and pointed it at the victim while he was riding behind him, and successfully robbed him. He also used the illegal gun in his robbery activities,” said presiding judge Suos Sam Ath.

“So the court has decided to sentence him to five years in jail and to pay one million riels in compensation for the victim,” he added.

Vin Ny declined to comment on his verdict and sentence when asked by the Phnom Penh Post yesterday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO sisters yesterday cried in court yesterday as they denied kidnapping an 18-year-old high school student in Phnom Penh over a US$100 loan.

Former garment workers Kim Sophary, 28, and Kim Sarun, 18, appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal court yesterday on charges of illegal detainment and kidnapping.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy said they were arrested on January 23 in the capital’s Dangkor district following a complaint from Keo Heng – the father Bak Touk High School student Keo Kanlida, who has disappeared.

The judge said that Keo Heng claimed the sisters, who worked at Universal Garment Factory, kidnapped his daughter after she failed to pay back a $100 loan and then phoned him in a bid to claim the cash.

At court yesterday, both sisters denied the charges against them, denying that they knew Keo Kanlida.

Kim Sarun said: “I have not committed this crime. I never called to her father to ask money as the complaint states. I think that this charge is very unjust. I have not committed any wrong thing.”

She insisted that she had given a $100 loan to another garment worker called Kan Da last December and claimed a name mix-up had resulted in her arrest.

She said that on January 21, a man had called her to ask about the whereabouts of his daughter.

“I think that there was some confusion over the name. When I got his call, I thought that he was the father of Kan Da, so I answered that I knew her but she had just left my room.

“I told him that she had borrowed $100 from me and that, if he was her father, to please pay me the money she borrowed,” she said.

She added that after several calls and continued contact with the man she met him at Canadia park in Kakab commune, Dangkor district, where she was arrested by police.

Kim Sophary added: “We are innocent people. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop charges against us and release us so that we will able to continue our works to support our family,” she said.

Kor Vandy said that a verdict was due May 10.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE people were killed instantly and another 30 were seriously injured when a bolt of lightning struck in Mondulkiri province’s O’Raing district yesterday.
Yim Dara, director of Dak Dam commune Health Center, said the victims worked for a Chinese pine tree company and were planting trees in Dak Dam commune when a storm hit.
“I think that this is the first time that so many people have been killed and injured by lightening during one day of heavy rain in the province,” he said.
The strike came during a two-hour downpour that began at about 3pm, he added.
“There was heavy rain and strong winds, along with a lot of lightening in our province,” he said.
Yim Dara said all of those who had sustained injuries during the strike had been rushed to the district health centre for treatment.
A total of 24 people were killed by lightening strikes in the first four months of this year, an increase of ten from the previous year, an official from the National Committee for Disaster Management said earlier this week.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A MOVIE producer, charged with defrauding a woman of US$15,000 last year to launch his business, was released yesterday after almost five months in detention on condition that he pays back the money plus $5,000 in compensation.

Mon Samnang, a 27-year-old a producer and actor at the Phnom Sorsai Sak Cinema Company, was arrested and charged with fraud last December. He was held in detention, until the complaint against him was dropped yesterday.

It had been alleged the producer had borrowed money from his friend, 25-year-old Buth Botum Srey Neang, and refused to pay her back, presiding judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court Chaing Sinath said in court yesterday.

Buth Botum Srey Neang also claimed in court last week that in addition to borrowing her money, Mon Samnang also tried to have sex with her, but she refused because he was married.

The judge added that Mon Samnang was arrested at his house in the Tuol Kork village of Tuol Sangke commune in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district, after the victim filed a complaint with police.

“Mon Samnang was accused and charged with defrauding Buth Botum Srey Neang out of money in 2010. He borrowed money from her to do his own cinema business but he did not return it to her as promised,” Chaing Sinath said.

“The plaintiff has withdrawn her complaint against him. The suspect has also agreed to return the money he borrowed and pay compensation to the plaintiff, so the court decided to drop the charges against him and release him,” she added.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

EIGHT men and three women have been arrested at the Thai border on suspicion of producing fake documentation for migrant workers, police said.
Chief of Poipet district police, Um Sophal, said that officials had charged 11 people with making counterfeit family books – which are collections of identifying documents - and borders passes in Poipet town, Banteay Meanchey province.
The suspects were arrested during a 7am raid on Friday at Poipet’s international checkpoint and charged Saturday.
“This is the first time we have cracked down and arrested people for producing fake family books and borders passes in Poipet,” said Um Sophal.
“Migrants come from other provinces to work on the Cambodian-Thai border. They have no legal documents to stay here and enter Thailand, so to get them they find counterfeit family books and border passes.”
The investigation is continuing.
“We have identified other people who are involved and the masterminds of illegal document production activities. We hope that they will be arrested soon,” he said
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea and Kenneth Ingram

A YOUNG man whose arms were dismembered in a samurai sword attack two years ago rejected a surgical procedure yesterday that may have allowed him to regain partial use of his left limb.

Uy Bunnarith and his 60-year-old mother, Hem Chamroeun, travelled last week from Battambang province to meet with doctors of the Children’s Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh after being featured in The Post.

The 25-year-old’s arms were critically wounded in 2009 when teenager Reun Sothun attacked him with a sword while he was investigating a noise near his home. Reun Sothun was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crime last month.

Chief executive officer of the Children’s Surgical Centre, Jim Gollogly, 67, said yesterday that the centre invited the family to discuss options for Uy Bannarith’s rehabilitation.

“I read the story and I said to some of my staff, get a hold of that guy,” he explained.

Gollogly, who has 14 years of experience at the NGO, said that artificial limbs do not work as well as many people seem to think, which is why the doctor recommended a surgical technique known as the Krukenberg procedure, developed by a German surgeon in WWI.

The procedure separates two bones in the forearm, the ulna and radius, allowing a patient to develop an improvised pincer from what was previously a stump.

Jim Gollogly said that Uy Bunnarith’s right arm was not eligible for the surgery because there was damage above the elbow, but added that his left arm was suitable.

“We generally perform half a dozen of these procedures each year at the centre,” said Gollogly. He added that the staff tries to have a former patient who underwent the same surgery available at the clinic to speak with candidates, but that this option was not possible last week.

Uy Bunnarith and his mother were asked to consider the treatment over the weekend and the surgery was booked for yesterday morning, at which time they decided to reject the proposal.

Sam Sitha, Smile Train Coordinator of the Children’s Surgical Centre, said their decision to opt out of the surgery came as a surprise to staff.

“We really pity him because he’s lost both arms and we wanted to help, free of charge, but he has refused it. We cannot force him to get it [treatment] because this is his right. At this time we will wait and look forward to helping him if he needs our help,” he added.

Uy Bunnarith, who was contacted by phone, said that the reason he chose to refuse treatment was because he was afraid of the operation, explaining that the surgical procedure would make his arms shorter in the future.

“I am grateful for the help offered by the Children’s Surgical Centre, for its kindness and generosity towards me, but I cannot follow through with the operation. I am afraid because my arms will become shorter and I’m afraid of how that could limit me after the operation,” he said.

“On the other hand, I am still very scared when I see doctors and think about operations. I remain fearful about the event that led to my arms being cut. I’m not optimistic that I’ll be able to write or work by myself even if I get the operation,” he added.





Hem Chamroeun added that he son was still very frightened about his arms being cut, following the attack and his subsequent treatment in the hospital.

“I have so much pity for my son. I really wanted him to get the operation so he can help himself, but I cannot force him if he dislikes it. I am still persuading him to get the operation and I hope that he will change his mind in the future,” she said.

Twelve charged with drug offences

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
Twelve men were charged with drug trafficking and drug abuse offences on Sunday after being arrested during a raid on a house in Siem Reap town on Friday, police officials said yesterday.
Siem Reap provincial police chief Sorth Dina said yesterday that the men were purchasing and using drugs when they were arrested at around 10pm on Friday at a house in Angkor Thom commune’s Anhchranh village.
“They are drug abusers and drug traffickers,” he said, adding that police had confiscated two kilograms of marijuana, two packages of yama tablets, and other drug-related materials following the raid.
“They had been involved in and committed drug abuses and drug trafficking in Siem Reap.”
Sorth Dina said that over 80 people had been arrested and charged with drug abuse and drug trafficking in Siem Reap province since early April and over 200 people were currently under investigation for drug offences.
“We are still working hard to follow and investigate them,” he said.
“We hope that due to hard work and good cooperation from relevant authorities as well as people, we will able to arrest them soon.”
More than 100 vendors representing 720 families at the Prek Pnov Market in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district protested in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal court yesterday against the proposed destruction of a demarcation wall at the market. The vendors also demanded the closure of the nearby privately owned Heng Peng Try market, because its vendors sell products on National Road 5, causing traffic jams and accidents near the market.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE farmers were charged with the illegal destruction of protected forestl and occupying state land in Kratie province on Saturday.

Eav Saphom, governor of Ang Snuol district, said the men were arrested on Thursday after they were allegedly found clearing more than six hectares of protected state forest in Thnoal village, Svay Chreah commune.

He claimed they planned to sell the land to private businesses in the province.

The three suspects were identified as An Nhanh, 48, Prak Sopheap, 45, and Ang Sy, 19.

“They were officially charged with illegally cutting down state forest and occupying state land in the province. They have now been sent to the provincial prison to wait for their trial in the future,” Eav Saphom said.

He added that the occupation of state land in Kratie was a persistent problem, as many people try to build houses or start businesses in forested areas.

“To prevent people from committing illegal cutting or [occupying] state forests, our authority has been working hard in educating villagers about forest policies as well as other related forestry laws and documents.

‘”We have also asked them to cooperate in reporting to authorities when they see people cutting down the forests in their communities,” Eav Saphom said.

“We hope that with good cooperation from villagers and related authorities, we will be able to prevent the cutting down of state forests as well as illegal logging and wildlife killing in the province.”
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Kampong Cham provincial court on Saturday charged 10 suspects with drug abuse and drug trafficking, after a raid on two residences by provincial police in Memot district on Thursday.

Brigadier General Nuon Samin, Kampong Cham provincial police chief, said yesterday that three out of the 10 suspects were women, and they were all arrested on Thursday in the Rong Chak Skor village of Tramoung commune.

He added that during the raid police confiscated a total of 13 packages of yama tablets from the two residences, weighing about 14.3 grams, in addition to other drug paraphernalia.

“This is another success that our police have cracked down on drug abuses and drug trafficking in Kampong Cham province. To combat these in the future, our police now are working hard in patrolling, following and investigating the drug traffickers’ activities in the province. We hope that due to our strong commitment and hard work, we will be able to reduce drug abuses and drug trafficking in the province,” Nuon Samin said.

He added that the 10 suspects were identified as Chin Hong, 47, his wife Thor Ratana, 22, Yith Vicheth, 19, Long Theng, 25, Say Srey Pich, 23, Heng Sina, 24, Tesh Bunthoeun, 43, Suon Sothay, 27, Som Sroh, 19, and Tesh Sochan, 18.

Nuon Samin also said that since the beginning of April, a total of 65 people were arrested and charged with drug abuse and drug trafficking in Kampong Cham.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court sentenced a 15-year-old student to three years in prison yesterday for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in the capital in January, court officials said yesterday.

Municipal Court Judge Ker Sakhorn said that Chhum Davoan was arrested by police on January 20 at his house in Tuol Kork district’s Teuk La’ak II commune and charged on January 23, after the girl’s parents filed a complaint alleging that he had raped their daughter was on January 17.

“The court has found that Chhum Davoan has really been involved and had sex with the victim as accused,” Ker Sakhorn said in his verdict yesterday. “It is decided to sentence him to three years in jail and 1 million riel (about US$245) in compensation for the victim.”

He added that Chhum Davoan had a right to appeal the verdict within a month of his conviction.

Chhum Davoan denied the charges yesterday and said that the verdict was unjust.

“I did not commit any wrongdoing against her and I did not forcibly rape her,” he said after the verdict was announced yesterday. “We were boyfriend and girlfriend and we loved each other. We both agreed to have sex with each other.”

Chhum Davoan’s father, Chhum Khun, said yesterday that his son and the girl were friends and had loved each other for years before his son was arrested and jailed.

“I think that his sentence is a little high for him because he was still young and he had not been raped the victim as accused,” he said. “I will appeal the verdict for him.”

The victim and her parents did not attend court yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

A Vietnamese woman was convicted with murder of her husband

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A woman who allegedly stabbed her husband to death after he beat her, faced murder charges at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Dam Thyheang, a 52-year-old Vietnamese national, told the court she acted in self-defense and feared for her life when her husband, 55-year-old Nguyen Yong, who routinely beat her, attacked her on the night of January 25 in Toul Kork district’s Tuol Sangke commune.

“The reason why I decided to use a knife to stab him was because he had beaten me, and tried to use a cutting board to hit on my head. I did it to protect myself. I think that if I did not stab him first, he will kill me,” she told the court, adding that Nguyen Yong was intoxicated and began destroying property in their home and attacked her because he was not happy with his dinner.

“I had no intention to kill him. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me and release men from now on,” she added.

Presiding Judge Ker Sakhorn said that Dam Thyheang was implicated in a serious crime and was charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 29th January 2011.

“She used a vegetable knife to stab the victim’s stomach and chest during a personal dispute with him and caused him serious injuries and he died after he was sent to the hospital. Her activity was cruel and a crime,” he said, adding that the victim was stabbed five times in the stomach and chest and died at Calmette hospital.

Ker Sakhorn said that a verdict would be announced on Monday.

ENDS.


Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A woman who allegedly stabbed her husband to death after he beat her, faced murder charges at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Dam Thyheang, a 52-year-old Vietnamese national, told the court she acted in self-defense and feared for her life when her husband, 55-year-old Nguyen Yong, who routinely beat her, attacked her on the night of January 25 in Toul Kork district’s Tuol Sangke commune.

“The reason why I decided to use a knife to stab him was because he had beaten me, and tried to use a cutting board to hit on my head. I did it to protect myself. I think that if I did not stab him first, he will kill me,” she told the court, adding that Nguyen Yong was intoxicated and began destroying property in their home and attacked her because he was not happy with his dinner.

“I had no intention to kill him. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me and release men from now on,” she added.

Presiding Judge Ker Sakhorn said that Dam Thyheang was implicated in a serious crime and was charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 29th January 2011.

“She used a vegetable knife to stab the victim’s stomach and chest during a personal dispute with him and caused him serious injuries and he died after he was sent to the hospital. Her activity was cruel and a crime,” he said, adding that the victim was stabbed five times in the stomach and chest and died at Calmette hospital.

Ker Sakhorn said that a verdict would be announced on Monday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

David John Fletcher was sentenced to 10 years in jail

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 56-YEAR-OLD British man was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 20 million riels (about US$5,000) in absentia yesterday, on charges of raping a 17-year-old girl in Phnom Penh in 2009.
Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Ker Sakhorn, said that David John Fletcher, was guilty of a rape committed in Phnom Penh in 2009.
Although Fletcher escaped to Thailand in 2010 in order to avoid prosecution, he was arrested by Thai authorities on immigration charges on January 23 and is currently being detained in a Thai prison.
“The court also orders concerned authorities to take measures and action to bring this convicted person from Thailand to jail in Cambodia, where he committed the crime,” Ker Sakhorn added.
Peng Maneth, the victim’s lawyer, said he accepted the court’s verdict but asked the court to do everything in its power to bring the suspect to serve his jail term in Cambodia.
“I appreciate the court’s verdict for the convicted person. I think that his sentence and the compensation payment are appropriate for the crime he had committed it and for the victim. However, to ensure that he will really serve his jail terms as the court’s verdict, I would like to ask the court to rule and bring him to jail in Cambodia as soon as possible,” she said.
She added that a major problem with convicting foreigners of sex crimes in Cambodian courts is that they are extradited to other countries to serve jail terms before they pay compensation to their victims, or they escape prosecution altogether.
Peng Maneth also said asked that Fletcher serves out a full sentence.
David John Fletcher’s lawyer Ouk Syroeun, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Fletcher has the right to appeal within 30 days.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A HUSBAND and wife who recruited a child prostitute at Phnom Penh’s Sorya Shopping Mall were given 10-year jail terms yesterday.

Brothel owners Chab Thirith, 27, and wife, Ouk Kimren, 24, were found guilty of purchasing child prostitution after recruiting a 15-year-old girl as a sex worker last year. They were arrested in December at their home, near Sorya mall in Phsar Thmey I commune, Daun Penh district, after the girl’s family lodged a complain against them.

Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Kor Vandy, said yesterday that “they had been run a brothel in their house for many years before they were arrested”.

“They lobbied the victim to work with them and forced her to have sex with guests in order to make money for their own interests,” he said, adding the couple must pay a total of 4 million riels (US$1,000) in compensation to the girl.

Speaking to The Post yesterday, the 15-year-old victim said that she had first met the couple at Sorya. Ouk Kimren had then offered her a job, together with a good salary.

Without informing her parents, she decided to take up the offer.

“They had asked me to work with them but they did not tell me that what kind of work it was. I was detained by them in the room and they forced me to have sex with many old men, including Cambodians and foreign people,” she said.

She added that she worked as a sex worker for four months before escaping the brothel.

“I got sick because of having much sex with old men. That meant I could escape when they were not at home. They were not paying much attention to me because of my sickness,” she said.

Although she said she was pleased by the verdict, she added: “I think that the compensation is very little for me if compared with [the loss of] my purity and honour.”
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO sisters accused of kidnapping a high-school student were released from prison yesterday after all charges against them were dropped, sparking a rights group to call for compensation for the three and a half months they spent in jail.

Kim Sarun, 18, and Kim Sophary, 28, cried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court as presiding judge Kor Vandy announced that they had been found innocent of kidnapping and detaining missing student Keo Kanlida.

The siblings were arrested on January 23 after Keo Kanlida’s father, Keo Heang, filed a complaint. In earlier testimony, the court heard that he alleged that the sisters told him over the phone his daughter was at their house and owed them money.

The women, however, said there had been a misunderstanding. They had been talking about a friend with a similar name, called Kan Da, who they had lent US$100 to.

Judge Kor Vandy yesterday agreed with then, saying: “It is considered that this is only a confusion of the victim’s name. Therefore, the court decided to drop charges against them and release them.”

The sisters, who both used to work at Universal Garment Factory, said that they were happy that justice had been done.

“We are both innocent people. We are very happy that the court has dropped charges against us and released us to meet our family,” said Kim Sophary.

Kim Sarun added: “I am very happy that I have been released from prison and I hope that I will able to work to support my family. However, I am still very disappointed with the police because I was innocent person and yet I jailed for nearly four months.”

Um Sam Ath, a senior investigator at rights group Licadho, said that had police mistakenly arrested the women without proper investigation.

“It is very regretful. I think that this was a police mistake because they are lacked of capacity [to investigate],” he said.

“According to the Cambodia’s laws, the government has to take its full responsibility in paying compensation for the waste of their time in which they could have been working and pursuing other interests,” he added.

But the director of the penal police department at the Ministry of Interior, Mak Chito, denied police lacked investigative capacity instead emphasising that authorities were able to fulfill their duties effectively.

“The police has the right to detain or arrest the suspects or offenders, but they can’t do this unless there are warrant arrests which are issued by the prosecutors or the court,” he added.

“If there is a mistake in an arrest, I think that it is not our police’s fault but is the prosecutor’s mistake because he or she is only the person who has the right to charge or not charge the suspects.”

Keo Heang was not present at the verdict could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Kidnapped sisters released

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO sisters accused of kidnapping a high-school student were released from prison yesterday after all charges against them were dropped, sparking a rights group to call for compensation for the three and a half months they spent in jail.

Kim Sarun, 18, and Kim Sophary, 28, cried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court as presiding judge Kor Vanthy announced that they had been found innocent of kidnapping and detaining missing student Keo Kanlida.

The siblings were arrested on January 23 after Keo Kanlida’s father, Keo Heang, filed a complaint. In earlier testimony, the court heard that he alleged that the sisters told him over the phone his daughter was at their house and owed them money.

The women, however, said there had been a misunderstanding. They had been talking about a friend with a similar name, called Kan Da, who they had lent US$100 to.

Judge Kor Vanthy yesterday agreed with then, saying: “It is considered that this is only a confusion of the victim’s name. Therefore, the court decided to drop charges against them and release them.”

The sisters, who both used to work at Universal Garment Factory, said that they were happy that justice had been done.

“We are both innocent people. We are very happy that the court has dropped charges against us and released us to meet our family,” said Kim Sophary.

Kim Sarun added: “I am very happy that I have been released from prison and I hope that I will able to work to support my family. However, I am still very disappointed with the police because I was innocent person and yet I jailed for nearly four months.”

Um Sam Ath, a senior investigator at rights group Lichado, said that had police mistakenly arrested the women without proper investigation.

“It is very regretful. I think that this was a police mistake because they are lacked of capacity [to investigate],” he said.

“According to the Cambodia’s laws, the government has to take its full responsibility in paying compensation for the waste of their time in which they could have been working and pursuing other interests,” he added.

But the director of the penal police department at the Ministry of Interior, Mak Chito, denied police lacked investigative capacity instead emphasising that authorities were able to fulfill their duties effectively.

“The police has the right to detain or arrest the suspects or offenders, but they can’t do this unless there are warrant arrests which are issued by the prosecutors or the court,” he added.

“If there is a mistake in an arrest, I think that it is not our police’s fault but is the prosecutor’s mistake because he or she is only the person who has the right to charge or not charge the suspects.”

Keo Heang was not present at the verdict could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Child Stealer convicted

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A WOMAN who stole a child from her parents was handed a two-year jail term yesterday, with one year of the sentence suspended.

Chhoun Lin, 33, was found guilty of taking a three-year old girl from her mother, Mean Sarann, of Tuol Sangke commune, Russei Keo district, Phnom Penh, last year.

She was arrested in November in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district, where she had been living with the toddler for around two months.

At an earlier hearing, Mean Sarann said that she had allowed her daughter to stay with Chhoun Lin for one night in Septmber, but she was never returned.

During the sentencing at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, judge You Bunna said: “The court had found that Chhoun Lin was a guilty of stealing a three-year-old girl from her family to live with her without permission from the victim’s parents.

“It is considered that the suspect’s activity is illegal and is against Cambodian laws, therefore the court decided to sentence her to two years in jail.”

He added that one year of the sentence would be suspended.

Chhoun Lin declined to comment about her sentence yesterday. However, during her trial last month she denied all charges and said that she never intended to traffick or sell the girl.

“I decided to bring her to go with me in Banteay Meanchey province because I loved her very much. I used also to take care of her when she was born and I loved her like my daughter.

“I did not inform her parent because I thought that if I told them, they would not agree,” she said at the time.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A MOTODOP yesterday denied raping a five-year-old girl after offering to buy her a treat at a school cake sale in Phnom Penh last year, as the child’s mother blasted him as “inhuman”.

Em Sokha, 27, is accused of raping the child in a school bathroom in Teuk Thla commune, Sen Sok district, last November.

The girl’s mother testified at Phom Penh Municipal Court yesterday that while she was at work, the motodop gave her daughter 500 riels (around US$0.13) and said he would take her to buy a cake at the school.

By the time they had arrived, she claimed, the school was empty and the bake sale had shut. She alleged that Em Sokha then raped her daughter in a toilet.

“He promised to drive my daughter to buy cake at the school, but he had brought her into the school’s bathroom and raped her,” she claimed.

“I think that this activity is the very worst and inhuman,” she said, while demanding 1 million riel (around US$250) in compensation.

Em Sokha denied all charges, but admitting he had touched the girl.

“I accepted that I brought her to school and went to the bathroom, but I did not rape her. I have touched her virgina only. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to reduce the sentence for me,” he said

Presiding judge Din Sivuthy said that rape was a “serious crime” and that a verdict was due on May 26.

JD Soup was convicted with drug abuse and drug trafficking

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A CELEBRITY disc jockey was yesterday accused of masterminding a drug trafficking operation last year.

American-Cambodian Sophorn Horl, who is also known as DJ Soup, is best known in Cambodia as a former presenter of a popular radio entertainment programme on TV3.

Yesterday, he appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court to face charges of drug trafficking, together with taxi driver Keang Bunna, 35, and motodop Sambath Tony, 25.

Presiding Judge Suos Sam Ath said that all three were arrested at the Samdech Chea Sim Garden Park in Tonle Basac commune, Chamkarmorn district, Phnom Penh last October. It is alleged that they had met to exchange drugs.

The court heard that a car was searched during the arrest. Police seized around one kilogramme of power and drug-related materials. Later tests found that 0.35 grams of the powder were amphetamines.

Deputy court prosecutor, Chea Meth, alleged that DJ Soup was the leader of a drug trafficking operation, while Keang Bunna and Sambath Tony were merely accomplices.

“I would like to ask the presiding judge to strongly sentence them so that they will not commit more [crimes] in the future,” he said.

DJ Soup denied that charges, saying: “I am not a drug trafficker and I did not also know about the drug hidden in the car. I am innocent.

“I think that someone had put it [the drugs] in the car in order to blame it on me. I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me.”

Keang Bunna and Sambath Tony, a former drug addict, also denied the charge against them.

“I recognise that I used to smoke and was addicted to drugs, but I have not been involved or committed this drug trafficking. I would like to ask the court to release me,” Sambath Tony said.

A verdict is due on June 10, said Suos Sam Ath.

Hun Sen's fake sister arrested

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A WOMAN arrested on suspicion of claiming she was the adopted sister of Prime Minister Hun Sen has been charged with fraud, extortion and improper use the name of the premier’s name in order to do business.
Business woman Phan Srey Pao, 25, was arrested at a coffee shop in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district on Monday after businessman Mey Rotha lodged a complaint against her.
Deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Heang Sopheak, said during a hearing on Wednesday that Mey Rotha claimed he paid the woman US$20,000 in belief that she could help him resolve an ongoing land dispute with high-ranking officials.
He and his wife got in touch with her because she claimed to be the Prime Minister’s adopted younger sister and a personal advisor to the Cambodian leader, the court heard.
“When they met her for the first time, they were asked to pay her a total of US$50,000 for her work. The victims agreed to her $20,000. After receiving money from them she did not work and demand more money from them,” Heang Sopheak alleged.
It is claimed Phan Srey Pao asked for $10,000 more, a move which spurred Mey Rotha to complain to the police.
“The police arranged a plan to arrest her at the coffee shop in Phnom Penh,” he added.
Phan Srey Pao did not comment when approached by reporters at court.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A PRIMARY school student who has been detained in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison for more than a month over drug trafficking charges protested her innocence yesterday, as a defence lawyer lobbied for her release.

Ouck Vandath, the lawyer of 13-year-old Vann Srey Khuoch, told Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials yesterday, his client had been held in prison since March 28 on drug trafficking charges.

The sixth grade student from Trapaing Krasaing Primary School in the capital’s Dangkor district was arrested along with six other people when three houses were raided by police in Meanchey district on March 26.

“Vann Srey Khuoch is a minor and an innocent girl, but she has been arrested and jailed for more than one month. I think that it is very unjust,” Ouk Vandath said yesterday.

Last week, the lawyer wrote a letter to the president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court asking him to re-investigate the case and release the girl from jail.

When interviewed by The Post, the teenager said she was arrested while visiting her older sister, who worked as a karaoke hostess in the capital, in order to ask for money to buy books for her studies.

“I wanted to ask for some money from her to buy them, as well as to get money to buy rice for my family because she works in Phnom Penh,” she said.

“I am innocent. I was not involved nor did I commit the crime as accused. I would like to ask the court to release me so that I can go to meet my parents and to continue my study,” she added.

Ker Sakhorn, Vice-President of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that the court had already received a letter sent to them last week be Vann Srey Khuoch’s lawyer urging officials to reinvestigate the case

“I think that if the victim was mistakenly arrested or she is [found to be] innocent, she will be released after a reinvestigation is finished,” he added.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE de-mining experts from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre were killed over the weekend in Kampong Speu province when several hundred shells that they were storing temporarily exploded, officials said yesterday.
The accident took place at about 10am on Saturday morning next to the chicken coop behind one of the CMAC staff members’ homes in Rakar Thom village, located in Chbar Mon district’s Rakar Thom commune.
The de-miners had taken 372 unexploded 57mm Khmer Rouge shells from a CMAC warehouse in Kampong Speu province, planning to destroy them at a designated site this week, CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said yesterday.
“It was a holiday, so they took them to Yoeun Sopheap’s house to store temporarily in order to destroy them during the work week,” he said.
“While they were arranging the UXOs at the place, some UXOs hit each other hard, causing a small fire,” Heng Ratana said, adding that the men attempted in vain to douse the flames with water from a clay urn.
The fire caused other shells to explode, engulfing the men in flames. “They were burnt all over their bodies,” Heng Ratana said.
Yoeun Sopheap, a 47-year-old team leader for CMAC, died from burns at his house. Supervisor Sok Him, 46, and staffer Hoeun Kimsea, 40, both also died from burns after being taken to the provincial hospital.
All three were experienced staff who had worked for CMAC in Kampong Speu for many years, Heng Ratana added.
“This is a mistake because so far we have not allowed any CMAC staff or officers to store UXOs at their houses. To prevent this from happening again, we will strictly control both storage areas and how mines and UXOs are delivered for their destruction,” he said.
Keo Pisey, provincial police chief, said the bodies had been returned to their families for funerals.
During the first three months of this year, 11 people were killed in 61 different incidents involving mines and UXO, a decrease of about 10 percent from the same period last year, Heng Ratana said.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A POLICEMAN and two students were charged with drug trafficking and drug abuse in Phnom Penh on Sunday, after a raid on a Daun Penh district guesthouse.

Police officer Sreng Chan Boramey, 27, was arrested along with Im Veasna, 27, and Ros Chamroeun, 31, during a police operation targeting Gech Laing guesthouse in Phsar Thmey III commune at around 9.30pm on Friday night.

Khieu Samon, acting secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs at the Ministry of Interior, said that 12 packages of drugs – containing a total of 27 grams of amphetamines – were seized.

A pistol, two mobile phones and other drug-related materials were also confiscated.

“They were charged on Sunday with drug abuses and drug trafficking,” he told The Post yesterday.

During a month-long nationwide crackdown on drug abuse that ended on May 5, 372 people were charged for drugs offences throughout Cambodia.

An estimated 3,851 amphetamine pills, 467 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, 1,363 pills of ecstasy and one kilogramme of heroin were found, while 3,736 marijuana plants were destroyed.

Gang Rape

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THREE high-school students were charged with the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman in Kampot province yesterday, while another six suspects remain on the run.

Chen Au, chief of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection at Kampot Police, said that the rape was alleged to have taken place in an abandoned house in Teuk Chhou district on Friday night.

The woman filed a complaint to the police stating she had been brought by her boyfriend and his friends to an empty house after a party and raped repeatedly.

The men, who were arrested on Saturday, are 23-year-old Van Thorn, 18-year-old Pao Ty and 18-year-old Sin Veasna. All are studying at local high schools and were charged yesterday.

“I think that such activity is the very worst and inhuman. To find justice for victim, as well as to prevent other people from committing these bad things again, we have to arrest and bring all nine suspects to court and prosecute them,” said Chen Au.

He added that based on the interrogations of the three arrested men, the other six suspects had been arrested.

All are thought to live in Teuk Chhou district’s Prek Thnot commune, in Kampot province.

“I hope that we will able to arrest them and bring them to the justice soon,” he said.

Sem Sophea, investigating officer at rights group Adhoc in Kampot, said that it would also carry out an investigation.

“This case is very serious and very cruel. I would like to appeal to police to work hard and seek the arrest of these suspects for prosecution,” she added.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THE body of a 34-year-old man was found in a pond in Sen Sok district on Monday. Keo Sonthouth, chief of police at Phnom Penh Thmey commune, said that the dead man was Prach Sarom, a morning glory planter. After he and his wife divorced six years ago, the police chief said, the planter had drunk alcohol daily. Police believe he drowned in the pond while intoxicated. It is thought he has no relatives and the body has been sent to Kraing Thnong Temple for a funeral.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

THE owner of a Phnom Penh coffee shop was one of 15 people arrested during a drugs raid earlier this week.

Seven men and eight women were arrested after police targeted Casa Coffee Shop in Srah Chak commune, Daun Penh district, on both Sunday and Monday.

Police alleged Monday that Chea Khov, the coffee shop’s owner, and Ly Choeun, a motor-dop, were the leaders of a drug trafficking organisation.

“We believe those targeted had been involved in drug abuse and trafficking in Phnom Penh,” said Sok Penh Vuth, deputy governor of Daun Penh District.

A total of 12 packets of amphetamines, two cars and one motorbike were seized during the raids.

All the suspects are being detained at the Municipal Anti-Drugs Police Department before being sent to court.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

FIVE Vietnamese nationals, accused of helping to run a brothel under the guise of a coffee shop in Phnom Penh, denied all charges at their trial yesterday.

Nguyen Voang Tan, 31, Nguyen Thymai, 45, Nguyen Voang Thoeur, 35, Mao Try, 36, and La Yoang Y, 32, have all been charged with being accomplices in the illegal operation of a brothel.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard that they were arrested on April 10 at what appeared to be a coffee shop in Phsar Thmey III commune, Daun Penh district.

Deputy court prosecutor, Ek Cheng Huoth, said yesterday that police believe a prostitution business was being run inside the shop.

“These people operated the prostitute brothel as accused. Therefore, I would like to ask the presiding judge to sentence so that they will not commit it again in the future,” he said.

All five suspects denied the charges. Nguyen Voang Thoeur said that the shop only sold coffee and drinks and had not provided any sexual services.

“I recognise that I operated a coffee shop in Phsar Thmey III commune, in Phnom Penh, but I have not been involved or committed sex service providing in my shop. I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me and release me,” he said.

Nguyen Thymai also requested her release.

“I was only a cleaner and a cookr for the shop. I did not know that there was sex service or prostitution,” she said.

Presiding judge, Ker Sakhorn, said a verdict was due on May 24.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A HIGH-SCHOOL student appeared in court yesterday charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in Phnom Penh last year.

Yorng Sok Chamroeun, 18, and his friend, Ngeth Chamroeun, 19, both 12th-grade students at the Bak Touk High School, were charged with rape and being an accomplice in rape respectively.

Deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Ek Chheng Huoth, said that Yorng Sok Chamroeun was arrested at the Spark entertainment complex in Chamkarmon district on May 20 last year follow a complaint from the girl’s parents.
It is alleged he raped the schoolgirl on May 10, took pornographic pictures of her and extorted US$1,800 from her in order for the photos not to be made public.
The girl testified yesterday that she had gone with the student to Ngeth Chamroeun’s house, when she was given a cold drink.

“After drinking it, I felt very sleepy and I was brought by him into a room in the house. Because I was sleeping, I was then raped by him [Yorng Sok Chamroeun],” she said.

“I would ask him to return to me the US$1,800 and give $20,000 in compensation for the loss of my purity and honour,” she said.

Yorng Sok Chamroeun denied rape, saying that they had been regular sexual partners and had consensual sex. He also claimed the girl stole the $1,800 from her parents in order to buy a motorbike for them to ride.
Ngeth Chamroeun has so far escaped arrest.
By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

SIX men were charged with drug abuse and trafficking in Kratie town on Monday. The men – aged between 24 and 37 – were arrested on Friday at a rented house in O’Russey commune. Around 24 packages of amphetamines were confiscated during the raid, said brigadier general Chuong Seang Hak who is chief of Kratie police.

A wid-wife was charged with murder

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A BATTAMBANG mid-wife has been charged with unintentional murder after a woman died after a being given a series of injections aimed at aborting her five-month-old fetus.
Deputy Chief of Battambang Police, Cheth Vanny, said the 45-year-old nurse, Min Sa Em, worked at the Tuol Ta Ek District Health Centre and was charged on Saturday after her arrest on Thursday.
It is claimed that, for a US$50 fee, the nurse gave pregnant Kong Chakriya, aged 21, injections aiming at killing her unborn child after they met on May 3.
“She was paid by the victim and her family to abort a five-month old child but she has [allegedly] caused her death,” he said.
The nurse, said deputy police chief of Battambang Miliary Police Ourn Chrysao Mondul, told Kong Chakriya after the first three injections that the baby would die and be born in three days.
However, after a second visit to the nurse for more injections, the baby had still not been born and the woman fell seriously ill.
Unable to pay for additional private treatment due to poor finances, she died on Thursday at a provincial state hospital.
Ourn Chrysao Mondul said that, according to a hospital report, the victim died because of her womb had rotted away and the baby had died inside her.

The midwife has been sent to provincial court for questioning.
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 20-YEAR-OLD student was on Saturday charged with raping a girl, aged 14, in Siem Reap. Lon Sin, deputy chief of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office at the Siem Reap Military Police, said yesterday that Tha Oun Makara was arrested at a Siem Reap guesthouse on Friday following a complaint from the girl’s parents. He allegedly brought her from her home in Kandal provinces’ Khsach Kandal district to Siem Reap before having sex with her. The student has been detained in custody pending a trial.

4 policemen arrested

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A DISTRICT military police commander in Kampong Speu province has been arrested along with three subordinates for allegedly attacking two men and shooting one of them after the pair refused their attempted extortion at a checkpoint.

Nhorn Thol, deputy chief of the military police criminal office in Kampong Speu, said the four were arrested on Saturday after the incident in Samrong Tong district’s Samrong Tong commune. He said Seng Vansak, acting commander of the Samrong Tong district military police, was being held along with deputy commander Sun Srun and two other military police officers.

“They were arrested based on the complaints of the victims’ families,” Nhorn Thol said. “They are now being detained at the provincial military police headquarters for questioning and further investigation before they are sent to court for charges on Monday or Tuesday.”

Samrong Tong district police chief Khuth Sophal said the incident occurred on Saturday when charcoal vendors Suon Chanthy, 21, and Men Bora, 19, were attempting to transport their wares from Kampong Speu to Phnom Penh and they arrived at a checkpoint in O’Korki village staffed by Seng Vansak and his subordinates.

“The victims were forced to pay 15,000 riel (US$3.68) to the group of four military policeman, but they refused to pay since they had no money because they had already paid for many checkpoints along the road,” Khuth Sophal said. As the vendors attempted to drive past, he added, “Seng Vansak shot at them with his AK-47 and then they were detained and beaten by the group of policemen”.

Suon Chanthy was wounded in the left leg and is now recovering at Preah Kossamak hospital in Phnom Penh, while Men Bora was wounded in the head after being pistol-whipped and is now staying at a referral hospital in Kampong Speu, Khuth Sophal said.

Rath Thavy, Kampong Speu provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said he was in the process of investigating the case.

“I would like to appeal to the court to strongly punish and jail [the suspects],” Roth Thavy said. “This is a message for both police and military police to stop committing these bad acts.”

armed robbery

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 51-YEAR-OLD man was shot and seriously injured after he attempted to intervene in the armed robbery of a 50-year-old gold seller in a marketing Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Saturday.

Touch Naruth, chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said that Ke Phal was shot and wounded on his right thigh while Huon Thuok, a gold seller, was beaten and injured on her head when they tried to thwart the robbery on Saturday evening.
The suspects then managed to steal about US$50,000 worth of gold and money from her, before firing twice into the air and escaping.

Four military Police Officers were arrested with illegal shooting

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO military police captains and two officers were arrested on Saturday, after they allegedly attempted to extort a payment from two villagers before they shot and beat them when they refused to pay in Kampong Speu province.
Nhorn Thol, deputy chief of the Criminal Military Police office at the Kampong Speu Military Police department, said that the four officers were arrested on Saturday after beating and illegally shooting two villagers in the O’Korki village of Samrong Tong district’s Samrong Tong commune.
“They were arrested based on the complaints of the victims’ families,” he said. “They are now being detained at the provincial military police headquarters for questioning and further investigation before they are sent to the court for their charges on Monday or Tuesday.”
He added that two of the four suspects had been identified as Captain Seng Vansak, acting commander of Samrong Tong District Military Police, and Captain Sun Srun, deputy commander of Samrong Tong District Military Police, in addition to two other military police officers who were under their command.
Khuth Sophal, chief of Samrong Tong District Police, said yesterday that charcoal vendors Suon Chanthy, 21, and Men Bora, 19, were driving their motorbike cart from Kampong Speu to Phnom Penh in order to sell charcoal in Phnom Penh.
He added that they arrived at a police checkpoint in O’Korki village, and were stopped by the officers who ordered them to pay 15,000 riels (about US$3.70) in order to pass.
“The victims were forced to pay 15,000 riels to the group of these four military policemen but they refused because they had no money … because they had already paid for many checkpoints along the road,” Khuth Sophal said, adding that the suspects then attempted to drive past the checkpoint towards Phnom Penh.
“They were then shot by an AK-47 rifle by Captain Seng Vansak to stop them from driving, and after the shooting they were detained and beaten by the group of policemen.”
He added that Suon Chanthy was shot and seriously injured by a gunshot wound on his left leg and is now staying at Kossamak Hospital for treatment, while Men Bora was beaten with pistols and wounded on his head and is now staying at a referral hospital in Kampong Speu.
Rath Thavy, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said that he was now investigating the case.
“I am ready to help and providing legal [assistance] for the victims’ families if they will come to meet us at our office,” he said.
“I think that these military police officers’ activities were very bad and violated the law. I would like to appeal to the court to strongly punish and jail them so that they will not commit it again to other people. It is also a message for competent officials, both police and military police, to stop committing these bad acts in the future.”
The four arrested military police officers could not reached for comment yesterday.

A 26-year old was charged with raping of a 10-year old girl

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

KANDAL provincial court charged a 26-year-old man with the rape of a 10-year-old schoolgirl in Ang Snuol district on Friday.
Chea Yorn, deputy chief of the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Office, said yesterday that university student Roeun Sok Heng, 26, was arrested at his home in Chhak Chhoeu Neang commune’s Trapaing Chuob village on Thursday following a complaint by the victim’s family.
“He was officially charged with raping of a juvenile girl inside of his house,” he said, adding that the girl had been accosted while she was gathering plants for cooking near a pond behind her home on Thursday morning.
“She wanted to pick lotuses in the pond for cooking but she could not enter into the water to collect them because the water was too deep. So she has asked the suspect who was staying there for help, but the suspect said that he would only help to pick the lotus for her if she agreed to have sex with him,” he said, adding that the girl agreed and the suspect retrieved three flowers for her before bringing her to his home.
“He was arrested after he had successfully raped the victim and the victim told her parents about the rape,” Chea Yorn said, adding that the suspect was being detained in Kandal provincial prison ahead of his trial.
In a separate case, a 17-year-old high school student was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old girl in Phnom Penh.
Keo Sonthouth, chief of the Phnom Penh Thmey commune police, said that Ya Sou Yung, 17, a grade 10 student at Samdech Hun Sen High School, was arrested over the rape of a grade 8 student from the same high school in Sen Sok’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune.
“He was arrested while he was staying with his girlfriend in a guesthouse in Teuk Thla commune, Sen Sok district. He was accused of raping the victim who is also his girlfriend,” he said, adding that the victim’s family had filed a complaint to police.
Keo Sonthouth also said that the suspect was now being detained at the Phnom Penh Thmey commune police station for questioning before he is sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for his charges today.

A man was arrested with wearing military uniform

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A 24-YEAR-OLD man was arrested by military police yesterday for allegedly wearing a fake Royal Cambodian Armed Forces military uniform while possessing a weapon in Kandal province.
Iv Chamroeun, Chief of the Kandal Police, said that Hong Rotha, 24, was arrested yesterday at about 3am in the Kampong Svay village of Kean Svay district’s Kampong Svay commune, while he was driving a motorbike while wearing a RCAF uniform and holding a K-59 pistol.
He added that if he is found guilty he could face at least two years in prison

Two villagers were shot injured by four millatry policemen

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TWO victims of an assault and extortion incident by a district military police commander and three subordinates in Kampong Speu province on Saturday say they have rejected a compensation offer from the officers’ families.

Rath Thavy, Kampong Speu provincial coordinator for the local rights group Adhoc, said that the four military policemen, who were arrested last week for allegedly attacking and shooting two charcoal sellers in Kampong Speu when they refused to pay 15,000 riel (US$3.68) at a checkpoint, wanted to pay the compensation before charges were laid in the case.

Suon Chanthy, 21, who was shot in the left leg as he attempted to flee, was reportedly offered $4,000, while 19-year-old Men Bora, who was beaten and sustained a head injury, was offered $300.
“They wanted to pay money to the victims and asked them to withdraw their complaints against them, but they were refused by the victims and their families because the compensation is not [proportionate] with their injuries,” Rath Thavy said.
Seng Vansak, acting commander of the Samrong Tong district military police, allegedly shot Suon Chanthy and is being held along with deputy commander Sen Srun and two subordinates.

48-year-old Mom Sarom, Suon Chanthy’s mother, said she had refused the initial offer because she was asking for $5,000 in compensation from the officers to withdraw her complaint, in order to cover medical costs.
“I ask US$5,000 compensation from them because I think that this amount is appropriate to pay for my son’s leg treatment. If they do not agree, I will not withdraw” the complaint, she said yesterday.
Suon Chanthy said at Preah Kossamak hospital in Phnom Penh yesterday that he would not be able to afford his treatment without a better offer from the police.
“My left leg now is broken and it will take a lot of money and time for treatment. I cannot accept this compensation because it does not fit my injuries. I would like to ask the court to strongly punish and jail them so that they will not do this to other people in the future,” he said yesterday.

Khuth Sopheang, prosecutor of the Kampong Speu provincial court, said yesterday that the four military policemen had yet to be charged.
“I am now waiting to see these four people charged, but they have not been sent to the court yet,” he said. “Although they agreed to pay compensation to the victims … they still face a prosecutor’s complaint because this is a criminal case.”
Men Sybourn, chief of provincial military police in Kampong Speu and Nhorn Thol, deputy chief of the military police criminal office in Kampong Speu, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A student was charegd over the rape of a 6-year old girl

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AN 18-YEAR-OLD student was charged at court with the rape of six-year-old girl in Battambang’s Ratanak Mondol district on Saturday, a police official said yesterday.
Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of the Battambang police, said yesterday that Minh Sok Chea, 18, a grade nine student at Neng Lem Middle School, was arrested on Thursday in Sdao commune’s Neang Lem village after a complaint was filed by the victim’s family.
“He had raped [the victim] three times at the victim’s house before he was arrested. He was then charged with raping the six-year-old,” Cheth Venny said, adding that the suspect was now being detained at Battambang provincial prison ahead of his trial.
Cheth Vanny also said that the suspect had been living with the victim’s parents while he was attending school and that the three rapes had occurred on May 23, May 30, and most recently on Wednesday.
He added that the complaint was filed to police after the girl had told her parents after the most recent assault.

Nim Meng Group won Hong Tung Resources

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

TAIWANESE mining company Hong Tung Resource has been ordered to pay Cambodia’s Nim Meng Group, a firm linked to a two-star general, US$200,000 in damages for breach of contract.

The case, heard on Friday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, pitted Nim Heng Group – a mining company owned by Lay Sineang, the wife of RCAF major general Nim Meng – against its former business partner Hong Tung Resources.

Both sides claimed breach of contract after they began working together last July on a copper mining project in Siem Reap province’s Chi Kraeng district.

According to a draft complaint by the Taiwanese firm, Hong Tung accused Nim Meng Group of abruptly terminating the joint-venture contract, neglecting to pay back loans and seizing imported mining equipment. Hong Tung also claimed that Nim Meng Group had been illegally exporting copper out of the Ream military port in Preah Sihanouk province using Cambodian naval vessels.

Hong Tung is seeking US$96 million in damages in a case that is still pending.

Nim Meng Group, meanwhile, has alleged that Hong Tung planned to sell off its mining licence to another company in violation of the agreement and had failed to offer promised loans.

In that case, the court ruled in favour of Nim Meng Group on Friday, with judge Oeung Seang ordering Hong Tung to pay $200,000 in damages after being found to have not abided by the contract.

“I am pleased the court has found the justice for my clients,” Chea Sok Chan, a lawyer for Nim Meng Group, said yesterday.

Kouy Thunna, a lawyer for Hong Tung Resources, said yesterday he could not comment on the decision and was waiting for feedback from his clients.

Nim Meng Group has also sued Hong Tung for defamation after the Taiwanese firm aired its allegations over the failed joint venture in the media in April. A decision in that case is also still pending.