Cambodia holds French man on childsex charges
PHNOM PENH, Feb 18 (AFP) - A French man accused of having sex with underaged Cambodian boys has been arrested as he attempted to solicit a child in the streets of the capital, police and child rights activists said Wednesday.
Jacques Philippe Albertine, 62, a retired photographer, was arrested late Tuesday when police and activists spotted him allegedly trying to obtain a new victim, rights group Action Pour les Enfants (Action for Children) said.
“Police arrested him when he was making contact with a 12-year-old boy,” said the group’s director Hang Vibol, adding he had been monitoring Albertine for six months on suspicion that he was a paedophile.
Vibol said several boys had told his organisation that they had been molested by the man.
Deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking police unit Keo Thea said Albertine was being interrogated before being sent to court to face formal charges.
Cambodia has earned itself a notorious reputation as a haven for human traffickers, partly due to the country’s lawlessness and culture of impunity in the wake of nearly three decades of war.
But recently it has begun a campaign to crack down on suspected paedophiles, and adopted a policy of deporting foreigners arrested on charges of having sex with minors for trial in their home countries.
On Tuesday, a New Zealand man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping five mostly underage girls in the northwestern town of Siem Reap, gateway to the famed Angkor temple complex.
The heavy punishment was aimed at sending a message that Cambodia is not a haven for sexual tourism, the court said.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old Cambodian boy has been arrested for allegedly raping a six-year-old girl in northwestern Battambang province, a report said Wednesday.
The Koh Santepheap (Island of Peace) newspaper said the boy was in police custody pending formal charges.
Subject: France news