Siem Reap, Police from Siem Reap Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit yesterday arrested a 53-year-old Dutchman while he was photographing naked boys aged between 11 and 15 years by the lakeside in Aranh Sarkor village, Sangkat Siem Reap. According to police report, seven victims have so far confirmed abuse, but the number could reach up to 20 boys as the investigation is underway.
During the arrest, police found and seized a digital camera and an iPad from the suspect. Preliminary search by police discovered numerous sexually explicit pictures of boys which confirmed the crime. Police and APLE investigators are working to identify more victims in different villages.
Last year, APLE Cambodia received a report of the alleged abuse by this Dutchman from an informant and helped police to investigate the crime and identify victims. According to police investigations, the suspect often lured boys into a quiet place and would ask them to perform erotic poses for $1 to $4 USD. He also offered in-kind support to some of the boys.
It was not known yet when the Dutchman came to live in Cambodia, but he seemed to be able to speak adequate Khmer to communicate with the boys. He frequented the village and managed to establish close contacts with some of the local families whose boys were among the victims found.
This arrest marks the third foreign man arrested in child abuse cases in Cambodia this year. All of them committed sexual offences against boys, which reassured that sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Seila Samleang, APLE Executive Director, applauded police’s timely investigation, adding that Cambodian police have become incredibly responsive to child sexual crimes, bringing hundreds of offenders to legal account over the past 5 years.
APLE Cambodia who work alongside police to investigate into suspected sexual abuse and exploitation of children will provide appropriate support to the affected children to ensure that they can undergo emotional difficulties and receive meaningful justice.