Cambodia Asked to Help Find US Body-Part Smugglers

Thai authorities have asked Cambodia’s Interpol office to help them capture two U.S. nationals believed to have entered Cambodia after allegedly attempting to ship human body parts to their home country, a Thai official said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said Cambodia’s Interpol office agreed to cooperate in locating Ryan Edward McPherson and Daniel Tanner, who are wanted for attempting to send the body parts—including a baby’s head—to Las Vegas.

“We have some information from the border that they crossed over into Cambodia. Yes, we have tried to connect with the Cambodian Interpol and they accepted, but they haven’t found anything yet,” Lt. Gen. Prawut said.

“Right now, we don’t know where they are in Cambodia because [the suspects] know about the case already so they have to hide. I’m almost 100 percent sure they are in Cambodia,” he added.

Mr. McPherson, 31, and Mr. Tanner, 33, are wanted on charges including attempting to illegally smuggle human tissue out of the country using a false shipping declaration. They are believed to have fled across the border to Cambodia on Sunday, the Bangkok Post reported Tuesday.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Americans originally claimed to have bought the body parts—which were discovered at a DHL post office—at a night market in Bangkok, and the two were released after questioning before fleeing into Cambodia. Thai authorities issued a warrant for their arrest once evidence emerged that the pair may have actually stolen the body parts from Bangkok’s Siriraj Medical Museum, the newspaper reported.

But despite Lt. Gen. Prawut’s claims, numerous Cambodian officials—including one at Cambodia’s Interpol office—said they had not been informed about the fugitives by Thai authorities.

Lim Sokha Raksmey, acting director of the Interpol office; the Interior Ministry’s immigration chief Sok Phal; and National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith all claimed to know nothing about the case Tuesday.

Border police chief Chhay Bunna also claimed to be in the dark.

“So far, we haven’t been contacted by the Thai authorities, but if they contact us for help, we will cooperate because the two governments have an agreement,” he said.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Jay Raman said he was aware of the case but declined to comment further.

“We are aware of reports alleging a U.S. citizen may have been involved in attempting to ship items from Thailand that have concerned the local authorities, but I’d have to refer you to the Thai authorities as we cannot comment on individual cases,” he said.

Mr. McPherson and Mr. Tanner have faced past charges in the U.S.—including battery in 2003—over their involvement in the production of “Bumfights,” a controversial series of videos in which the filmmakers offered homeless people cash to fight each other and perform dangerous stunts.

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