Officials Look Into Report Charity Head Is Convicted Child-Sex Offender

subede – UK Tabloid Article Bring’s Dumpsite Organizer’s Statutory Rape Conviction to Light

The Interior Ministry said yesterday that the government could take steps to terminate a convicted foreign child-sex offender’s self-styled children’s aid operation in Phnom Penh, after his record came to light in a report by a British tabloid newspaper.

The Daily Mirror reported Sunday that 65-year-old David Fletcher, director of the Rubbish Dump Project, which provided food to children at the Stung Meanchey dump, was convicted of statutory rape in England in 1997.

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, said the government would not allow anyone with a prior child-sex conviction to run a charitable organization that works with children.

“If he is a [sex] offender, we do not allow,” Mr Sopheak said, noting that he was not specifically aware of Fletcher’s case.

Fletcher yesterday acknowledged having served seven months in a British prison for having sex with a 15-year-old girl, but said many of the details contained in the Mirror article were false.

“The girl…was nearly 16 and going on 23,” Fletcher claimed yesterday by telephone. “You don’t get seven months for kiddy fiddling: You get seven years. But I had tapes of her saying how much she loved me, and that she wanted to run away with me to the US,” he said.

Bith Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said yesterday he would investigate Fletcher’s activities in Cambodia and would contact the British Embassy in Phnom Penh for assistance.

Officials at the embassy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

It was not known yesterday if the Rubbish Dump Project is a humanitarian organization registered with the Cambodian government.

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