Swede Wanted for Kidnapping Arrested in Pursat

A Swedish man accused of kidnapping his 6-year-old daughter more than a year ago was arrested Tuesday night in Pursat after a nationwide search, police said Wednesday.

Torgeir Nordbo and his biological daughter Alicia Elfversson were stopped in Pursat town at a checkpoint on National Road 5, said Bith Kim Hong, director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Hu­man Trafficking Department. Nord­bo does not have legal custody of the child, he said.

Nordbo, who according to In­terpol’s Web site is wanted in Gothen­burg, Sweden, for “crimes against children” and kidnapping, allegedly kidnapped his daughter June 4, 2007.

“[Nordbo] said he wanted his daughter to escape from her mother. He didn’t want to live in his country,” Bith Kim Hong said.

Nordbo is being held at national police headquarters in Phnom Penh, and police are working with Swedish authorities to have him extradited to his home country, Bith Kim Hong said.

A neighbor of Nordbo’s in Phnom Penh saw media reports on the case Monday and called police, he said. But by the time police arrived at Nordbo’s home, he had fled to Battambang, Bith Kim Hong said. Based on another tip, police set up a roadblock on National Road 5, where they apprehended Nordbo, he said.

Though the two had been in Cambodia for a year, Nordbo had changed addresses many times, Bith Kim Hong said. Police started investigating in early January when they learned of the case and had last tracked him to a Sihanoukville apartment that he had vacated in February.

Steve Morrish, executive director of the anti-human trafficking NGO Sisha, said Alicia is staying with his staff while her mother, Maria Elfversson, flies to Cam­bodia from Sweden.

“She seems in good spirits,” he said of Alicia, who was sporting a boy’s haircut as a disguise when police found her and her father.

Related Stories

Latest News