Two Foreigners Arrested for Buying Child Prostitute

Police in Phnom Penh have ar­rested two foreigners, one from France and the other from Gre­ece, on suspicion of soliciting a child prostitute, police officials said Monday.

Keo Thea, deputy chief of the municipal department’s anti-hu­man trafficking and juvenile protection bureau, said the two men are also accused of taking their pictures with the 16-year-old girl.

“They took the girl three times each,” Mr Keo Thea said, adding that the girl had worked as a prostitute around Wat Phnom. “They even took pornography of the girl.”

Samleang Seila, country director of the NGO Action Pour Les En­fants, said the two men were a 62-year-old Greek national and a 61-year-old French national. The NGO had begun investigating the two men earlier this month, he said, adding that the Greek man’s arrest Satur­day led to evidence that the girl had been solicited a few days earlier by the Frenchman, who was arrested Sunday.

“The Greek man took pictures of himself having sex with the girl as well as with many other girls,” Mr Samleang Seila said, adding that both men had paid between $10 and $15 for sex with the girl.

Mr Samleang Seila said a third suspect, an Australian national who is suspected of picking the girl up in 2006, was being investigated by the NGO but managed to leave the country before police could make an arrest. He said the suspects face between two and five years in prison for paying for sex with a minor between the ages of 15 and 18.

Mr Samleang Seila also said police had been notified of other Cam­bodian and foreign men suspected of paying the same girl for sex.

Mr Keo Thea said the two suspects appeared in court Monday afternoon. Phnom Penh Muni­cipal Court Deputy Pro­secutor Kry Sok Y said the men had not yet been charged in the case and were in custody pending further questioning.


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