Saturday, September 14, 2002

Pedophiles in Cambodia defy crackdown — report

LONDON — British pedophiles are defying a crackdown on sex tourism by traveling to Cambodia and sexually abusing children, The Sunday Telegraph said.

It said undercover reporters had infiltrated a network of pedophiles who had come to Cambodia from the United States, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and Germany.

One of the British men, recorded by the reporters using covert video cameras and audio tapes, boasted of having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Another said he "played sexually" with children aged 13.

The British government introduced a Sex Offenders Act in 1997 under which pedophiles can be prosecuted for offences committed abroad.

Cambodia said last month it would station special police officers at tourist sites across the country to try and root out foreigners lured by its reputation as a haven for pedophiles.

The authorities have stepped up efforts in recent months to clamp down on the illegal sex industry, which is threatening Cambodia's foreign aid and investment.

Christian Guth, who advises the Cambodian Interior Ministry, said efforts would be made to follow up the evidence gathered by the newspaper.

"We will investigate these allegations as a matter of priority," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

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Created: September 16, 2002
Last modified: September 16, 2002
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