Siem Reap provincial police officers on Wednesday interviewed 12 underage boys who say a Dutchman paid them a few dollars each to pose for nude photographs, after seven other boys claimed the same on Tuesday, a police official said.
Evrard-Nicolas Sarot, 53, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon outside a Siem Reap City hotel for allegedly producing child pornography, including nearly 1,300 images of naked boys found on his camera, said Chhay Haklong, deputy chief of the provincial police’s anti-human trafficking unit.
“He gave them some money, a couple U.S. dollars for each person to have a naked photo,” Mr. Haklong said. “All boys, no clothes.”
A Nikon camera found in Mr. Sarot’s backpack when he was arrested held 1,292 images of naked children. Mr. Sarot admitted that he’d been visiting Wat Aranh Sakor village in Siem Reap commune, where the boys live, several times a year for the last few years, Mr. Haklong said.
“The old people living there, they know he’s coming to do that activity,” he said, adding that more than one villager had reported Mr. Sarot to police.
Mr. Sarot drew pictures to show his alleged victims, all aged under 15, how he wanted them to pose and paid them $2 or $3 for “simple” poses and $4 or $5 if the boys agreed to be photographed upside down or laying down with their feet lifted in the air, Mr. Haklong said.
Anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) received a report of the alleged abuse in late December from an informant and helped police investigate and identify victims, according to a statement and APLE’s program director, Khoem Vando.
Mr. Sarot, who can speak a little Khmer, arrived in Cambodia again on April 2 and took photographs of the boys over the course of several days this week and last, Mr. Haklong said.
None of the boys reported being physically harmed by Mr. Sarot, he said.
“They got very low education. They want the money,” he said. “I don’t think that [the children] knew about the law.”
Mr. Sarot is being held at provincial police headquarters and would be sent to court this morning, Mr. Haklong said.