Phnom Penh Municipal Police arrested a 61-year-old German national Thursday for allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl he brought to the capital from Sihanoukville, officers said November 2.
Jopen Reimund Hubert, a retired IT engineer who had allegedly been abusing the victim for two years, was invited by police for questioning after he was spotted bringing the 14-year-old into his hotel room, Phnom Penh anti-human trafficking police chief Urm Rathana said.
“He confessed that he has taken naked photos of children, but claims that he did not have sex,” Urm Rathana said, adding that Hubert is expected to be charged on Saturday.
Urm Rathana said the 14-year-old girl has told police that Hubert has been abusing several young girls in Sihanoukville, but he declined to say how many victims there might be.
Samleang Seila, country director for anti-pedophile NGO APLE, said that his organization had been investigating Hubert for two years in Sihanoukville.
“The police in Sihanoukville are not really working seriously against the sexual exploitation of children,” he said. APLE reported Hubert to Phnom Penh anti-trafficking police after he was spotted bringing her to the capital, Samleang Seila said.
“Whenever there is a case where it is clear that a foreigner is with a child in a hotel room, the police in Phnom Penh are not hesitant to take action,” Samleang Seila added.
Hubert is the second foreign pedophile suspect residing in Sihanoukville that has been arrested by Phnom Penh police.
On Oct 19, Russian businessman Alexander Trofimov, 41, was arrested in Sihanoukville by Interior Ministry anti-trafficking police and charged with debauchery by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Be Sivanna, chief of the Sihanoukville anti-trafficking bureau, said that his department takes child sex abuse cases seriously, but admitted that he was unaware of Hubert’s activities.