A car carrying British Embassy officials and Cambodia’s first convicted Western pedophile to serve a complete sentence sped forth from the gates of Kandal province prison shortly after 9 am Tuesday morning, delivering the freed man to banishment.
Briton John Keeler, who served three years in prison on debauchery charges after being spotted videotaping young girls lewdly posed in a Takhmau town park, sat in the back seat with his head swathed in a krama for concealment.
The car delivered him to the Department of Immigration, across National Road 4 from the Phnom Penh International Airport, where officials filled out the paperwork required for deportation.
“He left at 4 pm on the Phnom Penh-Bangkok flight. He is going back to his own country,” Chann Vutha, Imigration Department bureau chief, said later Tuesday afternoon.
Chann Vutha said that immigration police, border police and the embassy officials escorted Keeler to his flight.
“He is traveling alone. His passport is stamped to prevent him from returning to Cambodia, by directive of the co-Ministers of the Interior on the 26th of August, 2003,” Chann Vutha said.
Shortly after Keeler’s arrest in 2000, pornography and literature downloaded from a pedophile Web site were discovered on a computer police had confiscated from him. There were also e-mails that appeared to link Keeler to an international ring of pedophiles.
Keeler is not the first do-it-yourself pornographer to be deported from Cambodia. US citizen Dan Sandler was ushered out twice, in 2000 and 2001, after authorities jailed him following the discovery of his bondage Web site featuring local prostitutes.
Sandler also posted a Web page with a picture of a young Cambodian girl, the Funcinpec logo and the words, “Call your local travel agent today. Visit Cambodia! Twelve-year-old prostitute….”
More recently and widely reported, disgraced pop star of the 1970s Gary Glitter found himself on a one-way flight to Thailand in January of this year.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was convicted in Britain in 1999 of child pornography offenses.
Although Glitter was not known to have committed debauchery crimes in Cambodia, international interest in his whereabouts and concern over the country’s image as a safe haven for sex offenders led to a successful push for his deportation.