Belgian and German Arrested for Debauchery

Police in Phnom Penh and Siha­noukville have arrested a Belgian national and a German national in recent days on suspicion of sexually abusing children, police and court officials said Tuesday.

Belgian national Bessape Phil­ippe, 47, was arrested Saturday even­ing in a raid on a Phnom Penh guest house, said Keo Thea, deputy chief of the municipal anti-sex trafficking and child protection unit. A 13-year-old boy was in Philippe’s bed at the time, he said, adding that Philippe had been imprisoned once already for pedophilia in Belgium.

“He’s guilty. He was jailed for three years [because] he sexually abus­ed three Belgian boys aged 14 to 16,” he said.

Phnom Penh Deputy Chief Pros­e­cutor Nget Sareth said the municipal court charged the Belgian on Tuesday with debauchery.

Sihanoukville police on Mon­day morning arrested German na­tion­al Watrin Alexander Moriex, 36. Po­lice received information from home­less boys, ranging in age from 7 to 15, who claimed Moriex had re­peat­edly paid them to have sex with him, said Bei Sivanna, chief of Si­ha­noukville’s anti-sex trafficking police unit. “We arrested him based on four victims’ complaints,” he said. “The prosecutor charged him with de­bauch­ery and detained him.”

Police officials said that both ar­rests were prompted by information from the French anti-pedophilia NGO Action Pour les Enfants.

“They weren’t hiding their close con­tact with the children,” said APLE Director Beatrice Magnier, add­ing that the organization had been in consultation with German and Belgian police based in Bang­kok.

APLE staff had observed both suspects in public in the presence of their victims, she said.

(Additional reporting by Douglas Gillison)


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