Frenchman, German Arrested for Child Abuse

In separate cases, police arrested a Frenchman in Kandal province on Monday and a German in Phnom Penh on Tuesday on suspicion of sexually abusing children. In Sihanoukville, a Mexican national was on Tuesday charged with buying sex from an underage girl.

The German, 56, was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district after the parents of two 7-year-old boys and an 11-year-old boy filed a complaint with local police accusing him of sexually abusing them, said Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau.

“One boy complained that he committed indecent acts against him many times,” Mr. Thea said, adding that while he had not seen the German’s identification, the man told police that his name was Udo-Suvihie Wics.

“Tomorrow, we will go to check his house and prepare a file to send to the court,” he said.

Khoem Vando, deputy director of field operations at anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which assisted police in their investigation, said he also did not know the man’s name, but confirmed he was the head of FX Animation Studios in Phnom Penh.

According to a Linkedin profile, Udo-Theodor Symon is the owner of FX Animation, which claims to be the first professional dubbing studio in Cambodia. The profile states that Mr. Symon has lived in Phnom Penh for more than two years.

In Kandal province’s Sa’ang district on Monday, the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department arrested Bernard Louis Francois, 50, on suspicion of sexually abusing two young boys, police said.

“We arrested him because he was involved with sexually abusing boys aged 8 and 9,” said Na Neang, deputy director of the department. “Now we have received more complaints and our officials are investigating the case.”

Ros Savin, chief of the provincial police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said Mr. Francois had lived in Kandal since 2012.

In a third case, the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Tuesday charged Bernardo Paez with indecent acts and purchasing child prostitution, according to deputy prosecutor Ros Saram.

“We have sent him to prison while we investigate further,” Mr. Saram said.

Mr. Paez, 59, was arrested at his rented home in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune on Sunday. At the time, police said he had been accused of raping a girl under the age of 15.

However, Mr. Saram said that so far, he had not seen any incriminating evidence in the case. “[T]he evidence is weak and there are only answers from the one girl,” he said.

“The victim said that he gave her 10,000 riel (about $2.50) and that they walked together for many hours. After that, the victim accused him of having sex with her.”

Mr. Vando of APLE said his organization reported the case to police after they saw Mr. Paez bring two young girls into his apartment.

“He was taking them to his apartment and we told the police to prevent this from happening,” Mr. Vando said.

(Additional reporting by Chris Mueller)

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