Monday, June 6, 2011

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.

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