Anti-human trafficking police on Sunday arrested a foreign national wanted by US authorities over child sex abuse in California.
Police cooperated with the US embassy to apprehend 55-year-old Karl Von Boenninghausen in Daun Penh district in Phnom Penh.
“We arrested him based on a court’s warrant from the US state of California that stated that [Mr Boenninghausen] allegedly committed child sexual abuse in Los Angeles,” Colonel Lao Lin, chief of the anti-human trafficking police’s juvenile protection bureau, said yesterday. “Police officers arrested him at the Happy Guesthouse in Daun Penh district. The arrest was coordinated by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor.”
Col Lin said that Mr Boenninghausen is now held at the Interior Ministry in order to be questioned.
“We are investigating and continuing the procedure on this case,” he said.
Lieutenant General Chiv Phally, director of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said the US national is suspected of committing crimes against minors in the US in 2014 and 2016.
“The US embassy in Cambodia requested General Neth Savoeun, commissioner of the National Police, on August 20 to locate the suspect,” Lt Gen Phally said, adding that the suspect will be sent to the General Department of Immigration.
“We will send him to the General Department of Immigration next,” he said. “He will be deported to the USA soon because the crimes were committed in the USA.”
Meanwhile, Siem Reap Provincial Court on August 22 charged a US national with indecent act against a minor under 15 years on Thursday.
Yin Srang, spokesman for the court, identified the suspect as 39-year-old Shoun Earl Robinson.
“The provincial court has charged a US man with indecent act against a minor under the age of 15 on Thursday,” Mr Srang said. “Mr Robinson committed a crime in Siem Reap city.”
He said that the suspect was arrested by the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police department two days before the suspect was charged.
Mr Srang said the suspect is now in pre-trial detention.
“Mr Robinson was sent to pre-trial detention at the provincial prison after he was charged,” he said.
According to Article 43 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, if found guilty, Mr Robinson could face up to three years in prison and be fined up to about $1,500.
Action Pour L’es Enfants said in a statement yesterday that Mr Robinson’s arrest was based on the testimony of a victim. It said Mr Robinson was arrested at his residence in Slakram commune.
It noted that police found a mobile phone, hard drives and gaming devices.
“The police deducted that the suspect was indeed associated with the abuse,” Aple said in the statement. “This arrest marks the 14th arrest of child sex offenders (including locals and foreigners) from January to August 2019 in Aple initiated cases, as well as the fifth US citizen arrested within those numbers.”
Aple said that it will provide legal services to the victim and his family.
“Aple will provide legal aid services to the boy and his family shall they request during their participation in the legal justice-seeking process,” it said.