A Chinese national was provisionally charged and sent to pre-trial detention on Saturday for intentional violence after garment workers at Kandal-based Bing Win Garment protested his alleged beating of two women on the factory floor.

The incident occurred on Thursday, when Xue Shu Bing, 50, was accused of hitting a factory worker, who proceeded to faint, and later hitting another woman.

Tin Socheatra, Kandal Provincial Court spokesman, said Xue had been charged by Prosecutor Ek Sunreaksmey under Article 217 of the Criminal Code with “intentional acts of violence”, which carries a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of around $1,500.

Roeun Nara, Kandal deputy police chief, said it was unclear why Xue allegedly beat the women, but added that Y Sok Ngy, one of the victims, was holding finished garments when Xue hit her.

“When she was bending to pick up clothes, the Chinese man came and slapped on her face, talking to her in Mandarin. Then the Chinese man went to beat other woman named Eav Phallin, who was the team leader,” Nara said.

Nara added that Xue fled the scene but returned to the factory Friday, when he was apprehended by the police. Workers protested the beating and submitted a petition calling for the Chinese manager’s arrest.