The Interior Ministry has promoted Keo Thea from deputy chief to chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau.
Mr Keo Thea, 37, said he was officially appointed to the post of Phnom Penh’s top anti-human trafficking cop on April 6 after having served as deputy chief for six years, during which time he claims to have arrested around 40 foreign nationals and hundreds of Cambodians who were involved in the sexual abuse of children.
“I am determined to work harder to minimize human trafficking,” he said, adding that he was promoted at the request of Phnom Penh Municipal police chief Touch Naruth.
Keo Thea warned that under his new, more powerful position, those who view Cambodia as a haven for child sexual abuse had better think again. “If they still try to have sex [with children] in Cambodia, they must be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Samleang Seila, country director at the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said Wednesday that Keo Thea’s promotion was a good development in the fight against human trafficking and child abuse in Cambodia.