Police Go on the Hunt for Return American Pornogrpaher

Police have been given orders to re-arrest accused Internet pornographer Dan Sandler, who recently returned to Cambodia some eight months after he was deported back to the US for developing a bondage-sex Web site featuring local prostitutes.

So Vandy, deputy chief of Municipal Foreign Police, on Monday said police officers went to a guest house in Phnom Penh last week to arrest Sandler for illegally re-entering Cambodia.

But Sandler, a US citizen, had already moved from the guest house, and his current location is unknown, So Vandy said.

“We have sent our people to find and arrest him. His return to Cambodia is a violation of an Interior Ministry order. The order said [Sandler] could never come back to Cambodia,” So Vandy said, adding that police will also investigate how Sandler was allowed to enter Cambodia.

An official in the Banteay Meanchey province, Police Chief Sok Sareth, said Sandler entered the country overland from Thailand through the Poipet.

Authorities with the international police agency, Interpol, said they, too, are in search of Sandler.

Kim Channee, the Interpol chief at the Interior Ministry, on Monday said police have been instructed to determine the whereabouts and activities of the high-profile pornographer as soon as possible.

Sandler was arrested in October after Minister of Women’s Affairs Mu Sochua filed a complaint with police claiming Sandler’s self-styled Web site, titled “Rape Camp,” violated Cambodia’s human trafficking and pornography laws.

He maintained the Web site’s models, all local prostitutes, participated of their own free will and were paid well, and the business had the potential to generate income for the government.

San Arun, Women’s Ministry undersecretary of state, said Monday she was shocked at the return of Sandler, who was held in jail for nearly three weeks before being sent back to the US last November.

“He should not be in Cambodia. He might do the same thing again,” San Arun said, adding that his return made a mockery

of Cambodia’s laws.

NGO workers agreed.

Chanthol Oung, director of the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center, said Sandler’s reappearance highlights the weakness of Cambodia’s legal system. The decision to deport Sandler and not send him to court set a bad example, she said.

“The Cambodian courts never punish foreigners, they just release them. It is very frustrating because without punishment, [sex offenders] will continue to come to Cambodia,” Chanthol Oung said.

Bill Herod, coordinator of the Cambodian information project at the NGO Forum, said Sandler visited him on July 29 in Phnom Penh but quickly left after he was told he was not welcome.

Although Sandler has said he does not intend to resume his Internet porn site in Cambodia, he still has a Web page featuring material offensive to Cambodia, Herod said.

The Web page features a picture of a young Cambodian girl and the country’s flag with the words, “Call your travel agent today. Visit Cambodia! Twelve-year-old child prostitute, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.” The Web page also includes the Funcinpec logo.




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