Malaysiakini News

Missing child bride is in Thailand, claims husband

Published:  |  Modified:

Businessman Che Abdul Karim Che Hamid said that his third wife - an 11-year-old Thai girl - was not missing or in hiding as previously reported.

According to Utusan Malaysia, the girl and her parents were in Pattani, Thailand, to have their travel documents stamped.

"She and her family are not here. They are in Pattani for a while to 'cop pasport'. They will be back once they are done. They are in their home village now.

"I can't reach them by phone because of spotty mobile coverage there. I am confident she will return once they are done with their business," he said when contacted.

The marriage, which was allegedly registered in Thailand, has received widespread condemnation and international press coverage.

Che Abdul Karim, 41, was fined RM1,800 by the Syariah Court for conducting the marriage without the court's permission.

He has maintained that the girl's parents and his two wives had consented to the marriage.

He also promised that he would not consummate the marriage until she turned 16.

Critics have argued that the laws allow vulnerable girls, usually living in poverty, to be victims of child marriages.

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