A U.K. man has been arrested on suspicion of purchasing child prostitution after anti-human trafficking police raided his apartment in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district on Thursday afternoon, according to police and a child protection NGO.
A monthslong investigation led to the arrest of 69-year-old Clive Cressy, who is alleged to have exchanged money for sex with four young girls, said Keo Thea, chief of the municipal anti-human trafficking bureau.
The girls—aged 12, 13, 14 and 15—were prostituted by one of their aunts, who was also being detained and interrogated on Thursday, according to Samleang Seila, executive director of Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).
“Definitely, there was physical abuse and the exchange of money,” he said. “One of the girls was paid for virginity sex,” he said, adding that the broker most likely received most of the payment.
Mr. Seila said the U.K. man first appeared on his NGO’s radar late last year after they were tipped off by an informant. APLE began conducting an investigation, but had not identified any victims by the time the four girls reported the abuse on Thursday while being interviewed by police, he added.
Mr. Cressy had been in and out of Cambodia since the investigation began last year and had just returned to the country at the time of his arrest, he added.
A laptop, camera, external hard drive and DVDs were among the items seized from Mr. Cressy’s apartment in Tuol Tompoung II commune, he said.
A 40-minute video posted on Thursday to the news-dedicated Facebook account “TVFB,” supposedly taken during the raid, shows officers sifting through piles of young girls’ clothes and shoes, and pointing out children’s games and packets of unidentified pills.
According to an unnamed deputy municipal police chief who was interviewed by TVFB, the victims told police that Mr. Cressy had been working as a physician for a private clinic in the capital.
Mr. Seila said the suspect would be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today, and would likely be charged with purchasing child prostitution. The charge carries a sentence of two to five years for offenses involving a child aged 15 or above and seven to 15 years if the child is younger than 15.