Police Search for More Suspects Following Bust of Online Child Abuse Business

Police will expand an investigation into an Internet site that offered sex with children in Cambodia and will also search for more victims of the online business following charges against an American and two Cambodians on Sunday, police said yesterday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Thomas Carr, 59, with purchasing sex with three children and producing child pornography, and charged two Cambodians, Mey Sovann, 35, and Sek Vy, 47, with procurement of child prostitutes and soliciting for child prostitution.

A National Police official who declined to be named said Mr Sovann, a taxi driver, used the website www.internationalsexguide.info to contact Mr Carr and provide information to him on abusing children in Cambodia.

Ly Suvichhay, chief of the child protection unit of the Interior Ministry, said the case may involve other foreigners and more children who have been abused as a result of the scheme.

“We are searching for the victims, but it is hard,” he said.

Mr Carr’s alleged crimes came to the attention of Cambodian authorities after French National Police opened an investigation based on tips from the international organization Innocence in Danger, a French Embassy spokesman said by telephone yesterday. The organization obtained Carr’s posts on the website and sent them to French police about five months ago, the embassy official said.

Officers of the Service De Coopération Technique International De Police accessed Mr Carr’s mobile phone records in Cambodia and followed his movement on the Internet by creating a fictitious online identity and offering him sex with children, according to the embassy.

“This information was then given to the Cambodia police force. With the details we provided them, we offered our assistance in the arrest of the individuals because of the amount of the information we had already compiled,” the embassy official said.

According to an official statement from the French Embassy “The investigation is continuing with the technical support of French law enforcement in order to identify other persons having had recourse to this network.”

Bith Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said that Mr Sovann told investigators he had acted as a taxi driver and guide for foreigners since 2003.

“We found naked pictures of the three girls in his camera. They were naked and variously posed,” Mr Kimhong said.

(Additional reporting by Simon Marks)


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