Postponed: Trial of mother and daughter charged with trafficking Cambodian domestic helper

BUTTERWORTH: The trial of a mother and daughter jointly charged with trafficking their Cambodian domestic helper for the purpose of exploitation through forced labour has been postponed to May.

Sessions Court Judge Noor Aini Yusof set May 19 for case management and ordered that bail for Teoh Beng Sim, 57, and Teh Hooi Fung, 36, be extended during their case mention on Monday (April 19).

On March 19, Teoh and Teh pleaded not guilty to trafficking the 27-year-old victim for the purpose of exploitation by use of force at a house in Jalan Perpaduan, Kampung Baru, in Bukit Mertajam, at about 10.45pm on Feb 24.

They were jointly charged under Section 13 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

The offence carries a punishment of imprisonment for at least three years but not more than 20 years and a fine upon conviction.

Teoh and Teh were represented by lawyer Datuk Supramaniam Kasia Pillai.

They were among four people, including a husband and wife, detained earlier by police on suspicion of abusing their Cambodian domestic helper.

Initial investigations suggested that the couple's daughter was involved in the abuse as well.

Based on the victim's statement, she was hit and scalded with hot water and the bruises on her body indicated she sustained repeated beatings.

Examination of the victim found she had injuries to her face, scald marks on her arms, and stitches as well as scratch wounds on her body and legs.

Further checks also showed that the domestic helper had not been paid her wages since being hired two years ago, although she was told that her wages would be given to her when she eventually returns to Cambodia.

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