Cambodia: Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentences a former govt. official to 15 years imprisonment for trafficking workers to Saudi Arabia

Author: Chakrya Sophak Khouth, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 14 August 2019

"Former gov’t official gets 15 years for trafficking", 13 August 2019

Former Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation secretary of state Ahmad Yahya and his nephew Ismail Osman were both sentenced to 15 years in prison on … after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found them guilty of human trafficking.

Ahmad, a prominent Cham Muslim community leader, and Ismail, …, were accused of sending some 20 women to work in Saudi Arabia …, but Ahmad had previously claimed the allegations were part of a smear campaign.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Suos Vichearandy told … that the pair was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for “unlawful removal for cross-border transfer” according to Article 11 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation…

…, the National Police accused Ahmad and Ismail of forging documents to send then-16-year-old Sos Rotors to Saudi Arabia to work as a maid, but Ahmad repeatedly maintained that Rotors had lied about her age.

… Following his arrest, the police determined that Ahmad, who had been fired from his job at the Ministry of Social Affairs … after the allegations came to light, was the ringleader in the human trafficking case through his recruitment agency Accept Group.

… Soeng Sen Karuna, the senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, noted that unlike his nephew, Ahmad had not been detained, despite a warrant having been issued for his arrest…

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