Phnom Penh: On the 29th of November, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged a 57-year-old British citizen with Article 43 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, related to Indecent Act involving four boys aged between 9 and 14 years.
On November 25, the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department arrested the British citizen on suspicion of child sexual abuse at his home in a community of Phnom Penh after the victims made disclosures. Police also found and confiscated laptop, smart phone, iPad and memory sticks in the Briton’s home for further investigations.
The British citizen came to APLE’s attention after sources reported their suspicions of the man repeatedly luring a number of children in public places. He was seen buying food for the children, giving them money, taking them to the pool before bringing them to his home. APLE responded to the incident and cooperated with the specialised police to collect more information. The investigation further revealed that the Briton rented a house for some of the boys and supported their study at a private school. Before the arrest, the Briton worked as a teacher of English at a private school in Phnom Penh, prior to having volunteered at a child welfare NGO in the suburb of Phnom Penh. His work at the NGO was terminated due to misbehaviour.
Vando Khoem, APLE Child Protection Specialist, said “to his community people, the Briton’s actions were seen as somewhat humanitarian and therefore attracted incredible trust and compassion. Some families still could not believe that the Briton was offensive. However, to some other people, his behaviours characterise a typical grooming technique used to gain trust, secure cooperation and prevent disclosure before the event of abuse”.
This case marks the fourth arrest of British sex offenders in Cambodia for child sexual abuse crimes this year that APLE has brought to the police for investigations. All the four were responsible for the abuse of 22 minors in total after applying a series of extensive grooming techniques on them before eventual abuse.
APLE social team has commenced working with the Department of Social Affair Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and relevant partner organisation to arrange for appropriate supports for the affected children. APLE legal team is ready to provide any available legal service needed by the victims and their families to participate in the upcoming legal process.