Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Military cop’s wife ‘sold’ after travelling to China

Military cop’s wife ‘sold’ after travelling to China

Military cop’s wife ‘sold’ after travelling to China

A Pailin military police officer has made an impassioned appeal for the repatriation of his wife who, lured to China by promises of a hefty salary, has been sold multiple times to brokers attempting to wed her to Chinese men.

Van Seng, 53, yesterday told the Post that his wife, Chheng Srey Den, 32, had been approached by a broker who persuaded her to move to China for a factory job with a $1,200 monthly salary.

“I told her that is a lot of money. I had no objection, but I told her to be careful,” he said.

Seng, a military police officer in region 507, said he earns 690,000 riel ($169) per month.

Buoyed by the prospect of prosperity, Den placed their toddler in her parents’ care and departed Cambodia in June, but after two months, Seng received a call. “She called me to say she had been sold multiple times because she refused to be married with a Chinese man.”

He said the people who had most recently purchased her had asked a family, which included a Khmer woman married to a Chinese man, to lodge her. The woman, sympathetic to Den’s plight, allowed her to make some phone calls, though Den was usually deprived of any money or phones.

“However, she cannot help her to get out, because it will bring trouble for her from the brokers, who said she would have to pay if Den escaped,” Seng said. He said Den’s niece and a friend who had both travelled to China with her had married, and Den had been threatened that she would be pushed into prostitution if she kept refusing a Chinese union.

“I am so worried. And my child is still young, just 2 years old. He needs his mother to take care of him,” Seng said.

Den’s case is not an isolated incident. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry yesterday said a total of 47 Cambodian women had been repatriated from China in the first nine months of this year, the vast majority of them brides. He said his department was ready to help in Seng’s case provided they had more information.

Mom Sokchar, program manager at Legal Support for Women and Children, said there were many more women in need of repatriation, but bereft of the ability to contact relevant authorities.

Sokchar said women were often forced into marriage, prostitution or domestic servitude in China because brokers robbed them of their passports. He added that local Chinese police often viewed such cases as domestic violence incidents, rather than human trafficking.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio