11 Underage Boys Rescued; Cambodian-American Arrested

Phnom Penh, 11 underage boys aged between 10 and 15 years old were identified and rescued during a joined raid operation between Cambodian National Police’s Department of Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection (AHTJP) and Takeo AHTJP Provincial Unit. The police arrested a 47-year-old Cambodian-American T.S.V, who had been under police investigation since mid-2016 for suspected child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The arrest took place in Daun Penh’s Sras Chark before the suspect was taken back to Takeo province for further proceeding. According to the police investigation, the abused boys are all from Takeo province’s Tram Kak district where the suspect was residing. According to police, the suspect had lived in Takeo since around 2002 after he returned from the US in 1997 and started grooming many children in the village. At the police, T.S.V told that he was arrested in the US for molesting underage boys and put in jail for one month and he confessed to have sexually abused those above 11 underage boys.

In the community, T.S.V was known to many villagers because of his pretend-to-be kindness. T.S.V then built trust within the community and started grooming various families in the community through lending them money and paying them to holiday trips before ultimately taking these community boys to his residence in a pagoda in Takeo’s Tram Kak district.

APLE Cambodia who assisted police to investigate into the sex allegations will provide psychological counseling and social supports to these victims to ensure that they can undergo emotional difficulties.

“The nature of the grooming of perpetrator has shifted; most potential perpetrators target poor community where knowledge of sexual abuse and exploitation remains limited and institutions involving children like child care NGOs, school, home stay where they can gain direct access to children,” observation and findings by APLE Cambodia.

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