US Gov’t Acts to Deport Foreign Pedophiles

US officials are moving to deport more than 100 foreign nationals, including Cambodians, convicted of pedophile offenses in the US, according to a report.

The 108 men were arrested as part of Operation Predator, a crackdown on foreigners who served time in prison for ped­o­phile offenses and were then released, The Associated Press reported US Customs officials as saying Friday.

An unspecified number of the men will be deported to Cambo­dia, the AP said. Foreign nationals from Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, the Philippines and Russia were also arrested during the sweep, the report said.

“We’re making a concerted effort to remove those who prey on children from the country,” a US official was quoted as saying by the AP. A US Em­bassy spokes­person in Phnom Penh declined on Mon­day to say how many men will be deported to Cam­bodia or when they will arrive.

Senior Cambodian immigration police officials said Sunday that they had not been informed of the deportations.

Mu Sochua, minster for Wo­men’s Affairs, who has actively cam­paigned to deport foreign pedophiles from Cambodia, gave measured support for the deportations Sunday.

“It should be done,” she said. “If I want to get rid of [pedo­philes] from abroad, I have to ac­cept the same situation here,” she said. But, she added, “It is not pretty.

“Legally speaking, they are out of the hands of the US, but you have to talk about treatment, you have to make sure they do not continue to exploit,” she said.

Bill Herod, coordinator of the Returnee Assistance Project, which works with Cambodians who have been deported from the US, voiced skepticism about the deportations. “Cambodia has very little re­sources to deal with such cases,” he said.

The pro­ject would be open to receiving the deportees convicted of pedophile charges. But, he said, “They are not easy to deal with… I’m not thrilled about it.”

Herod added that medication, psychiatric treatment or counseling would be considered for them. The possibility of isolating or placing them outside Phnom Penh would also be discussed, he said. “The problem is that the re-offending rate is quite high.”

 

 

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