[Stop-traffic] News/Cambodia: Cambodian police hunt Romanian on 'slave trade' charge - August 16, 2000

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Cambodia: Cambodian police hunt Romanian on 'slave trade' charge - August 16, 2000
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Nov 14 2000 - 10:21:18 EST


<<http://www.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/southeast/08/16/cambodia.crime.reut/
index.html>>
Cambodian police hunt Romanian on 'slave trade' charge

August 17, 2000
Web posted at: 11:27 a.m. HKT (0327 GMT)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (Reuters) -- Cambodian police said on Wednesday
they were hunting a Romanian woman charged in absentia with human
trafficking after seven Eastern European women were rescued from a
hotel where they say they were held as sex slaves.

"We charged her this morning with human trafficking, and we are
continuing the investigation," said Phnom Penh municipal court chief
prosecutor Ouk Savuth.

Military police said they have been searching since Sunday for the
woman, 30-year-old Norica Topirceanu. Officials had earlier given her
name as Topirceanu Norica.

The seven women, aged between 18 and 24, said they arrived in Phnom
Penh on July 25 after being promised jobs as dancers by a Romanian
company but found they were going to work as hostesses and
prostitutes.

One of the women, Claudia, 23, told Reuters they were imprisoned in a
hotel during the day and bused to another hotel's nightclub every
evening to entertain high-level officials.

"We never had sex," she said. "The customers paid for us to go out
and have sex, but we refused and their money was given back."

Human rights officials in Phnom Penh tipped off police to the women's
whereabouts on Sunday, after being contacted by relatives in Romania.

A human rights official said on Wednesday that the women would return
to their home countries of Romania and Moldova soon.


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