A 45-year-old Australian man was arrested and is in police custody to be questioned about possible sex crimes, police said Thursday.
The man, whom authorities declined to name, was arrested Wednesday night at his rented apartment in Tonle Bassac commune, Chamkar Mon district, said Meng Say, the chief of the municipal police’s anti-trafficking office.
At least one young boy is also in custody, undergoing a medical examination to determine if he was sexually assaulted by the man, said Nov Leakhena, deputy director of the foreigner department at the Interior Ministry. Cambodian and Australian authorities are jointly working on the case, he said.
Officials declined to comment on the case, and Un Sokunthea, chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said it remained under investigation. “I have ordered my colleagues to do it,” she said, declining further comment.
The man is expected to arrive in court today.
Officials from the Interior Ministry and Australian Embassy searched the man’s house for several hours Wednesday night, shooting video and looking for evidence to submit to the court.
The arrest comes a week after 38-year-old Charles Landis, a US citizen, was arrested and charged with debauchery for his alleged involvement with underage girls.
Landis, who said police coerced him into confessing, was a respected English teacher at a Phnom Penh school, colleagues said.
Debauchery, a legal term for sexually corrupting minors, is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison sentence.