An American man arrested in Phnom Penh last week after allegedly breaching a court order related to a child sex crime case in the U.S. was deported from Cambodia on Wednesday, according to a senior immigration official.
Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said Eric Erdmann, 43, boarded a late afternoon flight bound for Doha, Qatar, where he would be met by U.S. authorities and accompanied to his home country.
“We already deported him. We escorted him onto the plane and his plane left at 5:30,” Major Gen-eral Heisela said, adding that Mr. Erdmann was no longer welcome in Cambodia.
“We added him to the blacklist because he committed an indecent act in the U.S.,” he said.
“He was deported with the official authorization of our interior minister, so if he wants to come back to Cambodia, he will have to request to our interior minister to issue official permission,” he added.
Mr. Erdmann was apprehended at his rented home in Chamkar Mon district’s Boeng Keng Kang I commune on Thursday last week after immigration police were told by U.S. authorities that his passport had expired, Maj. Gen. Heisela said at the time.
According to court records available online, a man of the same name was charged with multiple counts of child sex crimes in Oregon’s Multnomah County in 2010.
Following his arrest, Mr. Erdmann took to the internet to profess his innocence, claiming in a forum on the website Khmer440.com that he was not in custody and posting a photograph of himself eating breakfast in an open-air setting in an attempt to prove it. In fact, he was receiving treatment for a broken leg at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital while under police supervision, according to Maj. Gen. Heisela.
Mr. Erdmann could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. On Monday, however, he said he no longer wished to speak about his arrest.
“I’m not answering any more questions. I want to be left alone,” he said.
(Additional reporting by George Wright)
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