Police in Phnom Penh have arrested a US national on suspicion of sexually abusing young girls, police and NGO officials said Sunday.
Following the apprehension Wednesday of Myron Maboris, 46, four Cambodian suspects were arrested for allegedly procuring the US tourist two underage girls, said Keo Thea, deputy director of the Municipal anti-human trafficking office.
“Two underage girls, who are Vietnamese-Khmer aged 13 and 14, were sent to the World Hope organization for care,” he said.
Police believe that brothers Ek Sok, 44, and Ek Thea, 33, allegedly acted as brokers for the girls; that motorcycle taxi driver Ros Ban, 48, drove them; and that Lay Seng, 49, escorted them to Maboris’ room, Keo Thea said.
When Maboris was arrested at the Pov Sokhom guesthouse in Russei Keo district’s Prek Liep commune, he had one of the girls with him in his room, Keo Thea said.
Two of the other suspects were arrested Wednesday as they were bringing the second girl to Maboris at the guesthouse, said Beatrice Magnier, director of the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, which collaborated in the investigation.
Information from Wednesday’s three arrests led to the arrest of the other two suspects, she said. “It was rather quick,” Magnier said, adding that the investigation lasted only a few days. “The police got word of the matter and asked us to work with them.”
The five suspects are in police custody pending charges by the court, Keo Thea said.
Jeff Daigle, a spokesman for the US Embassy, said US privacy laws prevented him from discussing the case. But he added that the US is very satisfied with cooperation from Cambodian police in prosecuting US sex offenders who travel to Cambodia.
Guesthouse owner Pov Sokhom said that he had rented the room by the hour and that he had not known that the girl found with Maboris was underage until told by police.