Siem Reap Provincial Court has charged two British nationals with indecent acts against minors after they allegedly sexually abused several boys aged 13 to 15.
According to a statement from child-protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants on Tuesday, the court charged two Britons, aged 63 and 69, with indecent acts against minors under 15 years of age.
Duong Thavary, deputy provincial police chief in charge of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said the suspects were arrested on February 21 after a months-long investigation. They were sent to the provincial court for questioning after being questioned by police, she added.
“After we questioned them, we learned one suspect committed the crime and the other one was an accomplice,” said Ms Thavary. “The provincial court charged them with indecent acts against eight minors and already sent them to pretrial detention at the provincial prison.”
Police also confiscated numerous media devices for examination.
Ms Thavary said this was the first case in 2018 involving foreign paedophiles in Siem Reap province, adding police cracked down on three cases last year.
According to a statement from APLE, one of the men confessed to having sexually molested some of the boys and paid for each encounter.
Samleang Seila, country director of APLE, said the organisation and its partners would provide support to the affected children and their families if such services were requested during the rehabilitation process.
Mr Seila said police and NGOs find it difficult to uncover crimes involving foreigners and children because the foreigners have changed their tactics to avoid detection.
“Now foreign suspects commit the crime but they are more careful than before,” Mr Seila said. “In general, crime cases involving foreigners sexually abusing children is lower than before.”
Yin Srang, spokesman of Siem Reap Provincial Court, declined to comment yesterday.