After two years on the run, the convicted trafficker who abused two Cambodian girls in Malaysia was arrested by the Anti-Human Trafficking Police in Cambodia.
Ny* was 12 and Lalin* was 16 years when they were trafficked to work in Malaysia in 2017. The promise of a well-paid job had been a lie, and they were not paid. The girls were forced to work long hours with little sleep or food. Additionally, the main broker sexually assaulted Ny*.
IJM collaborated with the Malaysian authorities and a local NGO partner when the rescue of the victims was conducted in 2019.
“Our staff worked relentlessly to provide legal representation for both survivors and ensured they had received aftercare support to cope with the trauma,” Jacob Sims, Field Office Director for IJM Cambodia said.
The first arrest operation in 2019 failed because the information was leaked to the perpetrator. The main broker escaped, and there was no sight of him until 2021.
In January 2022, IJM received a tip-off and quickly requested the police to conduct the arrest. Over a holiday break in February 2022, the Anti Human Trafficking Police from Kampong Thom Province responded rapidly and successfully arrested the trafficker in another province.
“It was a tense affair as he tried to escape when he spotted the police, but we thank God for their quick action to arrest him before he jumped off the stairs,” says IJM Cambodia staff.
The accused, who was the primary recruiter and abuser, was already sentenced in March 2020 to serve 17 years in prison. The three other accomplices were convicted for six years; however, two had successfully appealed the decision resulting in reduced sentences.
IJM applauds the proactive and coordinated response of the Cambodian police and their commitment to dealing with trafficking and forced labour issues across the borders.
IJM staff and partners are celebrating that the main perpetrator who caused them untold suffering has now been brought to justice.
The girls are starting a new life with hope.