American Charged With Child Rape Extradited

Agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday escorted a 25-year-old American man from Phnom Penh to the U.S., following his arrest in Preah Sihanouk province on Saturday for allegedly raping a girl multiple times in the state of Washington, an immigration police official said.

At the request of the U.S. Embassy, police on Saturday arrested Ian Andrew Heller on Koh Rong off the coast of Sihanoukville, where he had been living for the past two months after skipping bail in Washington’s Clark County.

Mr. Heller faces four counts of child rape, according to court documents.

On Thursday, two FBI officials saw the American back to the U.S., said Ouk Hay Seila, director of the investigation and procedure enforcement bureau at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department.

“When we took him to airport, there were two FBI officials awaiting him to arrive, and we handed him over to them to take him directly to the U.S.,” he said.

Although Cambodia and the U.S. have not signed an extradition treaty, Mr. Seila said, the   two countries “have an informal agreement for extradition.”

The rules governing extradition requests from countries with which Cambodia does not have a formal extradition treaty are hazy.

In April, the Supreme Court ruled against deporting Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky back to Moscow to face embezzlement charges there, citing the lack of a treaty between the two nations. But in 2012, Russian serial pedophile Alexander Trofimov was extradited to face a slew of child sex abuse charges in his homeland.

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