Monday, October 11, 2010

The Pedophiles Of Cambodia

Hantu Laut

If there is anything that is more conspicuous in Phnom Penh it is not so much the size of the Mekong but strangely enough, the humongous presence of Westerners in this poverty stricken country.Besides the normal tourists, they seemed to be everywhere and everywhere else in the country.

These are the long term residents, either working in the many foreign NGOs, doing their own business, or for some, just up to no good.

Why Cambodia needs so many NGOs is still a mystery.There are more than 2000 associations and NGOs operating in the country which have become a pain in Prime Minister Hun Sen's government's neck who said he has yet to see any positive signs coming out of the NGOs and that they are out of control...they insult the government in every way they possibly could just to ensure their financial survival.

Cambodia attracts all kinds of vagabonds just like the days of 'FILTH' of the eighties that found Hong Kong a basking paradise and an island of opportunity for those who can't make it in the great city of London.

'FILTH', as some of you might already know is an acronym that stands for "Failed in London Try Hong Kong" which become a derivative for the 'Old Filth', a novel by Jane Gardam.I will not elaborate on the story but the book is an interesting read of the stiffed upper lip and is easily available.

Cambodia gets different kind of 'filth'.Haven for the filthy foreign pedophiles.

In spite of messages displayed on billboards, behind buses and tuk-tuks warning visitors to the country of the heavy penalty for pedophiles, they obviously deter no one, and Cambodia seems to be a magnet for this type of people, coming here solely for the purpose of securing underage boys or girls as sex slaves lured by money offered to poor parents or procurers aided by official corruptions.

Remember British popster Gary Glitter who had a string of charges of child pornography and child sexual abuse.He lived in Cambodia until 2002 when he was permanently deported to Vietnam due to suspected child sexual abuse.They couldn't lay a finger on him because he used money to silent his victims from selling him out.He was finally caught in Vietnam for child sexual abuse but the authority couldn't pin him on rape charges for lack of evidence.Rape carry the death penalty in Vietnam.Guess! what money can do in poverty stricken countries.

After serving a short jail sentence Glitter was deported to Britain, his home country.

The perpetrators of this despicable crime appears to be unperturbed by their actions and some even bragged about their exploitation of these young children.

A picture I took while in Phnom Penh.

If you stay here long enough you can't help but noticed some of these geezers with girls who could be as young as their granddaughters.They do not show the slightest trace of shame to be seen in public and how they treat these poor Asian children as sex toys and keeping them in bondage by paying off the families.

I have no recourse to official data that provide statistics of the breakdown of the ethnic makeup of pedophiles but going by known cases in Thailand and Cambodia it is almost frothing to the brim with Westerners.The Asian parts may be well hidden by cultural camouflage

Poverty and corruptions are the sauces to this despicable crime and some of the innocent children knew no better that they have been sold into sexual servitude to men 6 to 7 times older than them and some of these girls hardly having reached puberty.

Poor families who can hardly have three decent meals a day and the sky as their roofs are tempted by the lure of money to part with their children with pittance that would only give them temporary relief.

Corrupt officials are the protectors of these despicable trade.

In August this year a Swedish newspaper reported of how a convicted pedophile boasted of having paid $11,000 to, presumably, court officials to get him acquitted in his appeal case.

A few weeks earlier child rights group Action Pour Les Enfants complained to the Interior and Justice Ministry to investigate a 65-year old Dutch sex offender under detention, bragging in his dairy of bribing court officials in Preah Shianok Province.

Many of these perverts get off the hook by paying bribes to police, court officials and other relevant authorities and coached their victims and families not to incriminate them through the same method, bribery.

In another case, Harvey Johnson, a 57-year old failed American real estate developer from Arizona moved to Phnom Penh under the guise of an English teacher.Johnson gives lessons out of his house.Being a teacher it gives him the opportunity to be near young boys and girls.

Unbeknown to Johnson, he has been under surveillance by a local nonprofit group called APLE.

Using undercover agents who managed to get close to Johnson, who spoke freely and without any sense of guilt of molesting young girls.His hours of conversation were taped and video recorded by hidden camera.He was also caught on camera selling child pornography to the undercover agent.

Cambodia is teeming with sexual perverts of all kinds that tempt poor parents with money to part with their children .Some are known and convicted sex offenders in the West but could no longer get their hand on victims to fulfill their insatiable lust in their home countries where the punishment is severe.

Cambodia and Thailand have become their hunting ground due to poverty and corruptions, which allow them to work the system to their advantage.


SM said...


At last a "worthy topic" (unlike the usual Malaysian Political subjects which we are fully fed-up with!).

Go to any country in Aisa (but I guess especially seen in Thailand, Vietnam, Loas & Cambodia) & you will see "old-looking" westerners "showing-off" thier young Aisan girlfriends (how proud they are of showing off these young girlfriends too)! I guess if these girls are over 18, no one can do much about it.

However, Pedophiles that come to Asia to satisfy thier "lust" should be stamped out BUT then again "quite a few" (not all) of these Asian countries have corrupt Officals that can be bought for a few US$. I guess only God can stop these "sickos"! When their time comes, may they rot in Hell for eternity!

Concerned Barang said...

I completely agree that these 'dirty western pedophiles' are disgusting! They are indeed very visible

On the other hand, don't fool yourself into thinking that they are the only ones, or even the majority. Having lived in Cambodia for a while, I've actually noticed that there are a lot of old khmer, chinese, Korean, and even Thai men with young Cambodian girls; The Phnom Penh Post recently ran an article pointing out that a majority of underage sex workers (as surveyed by an NGO) reported that a majority of their clients were Cambodians!

I've talked with a number of Cambodian friends who blame the child sex trade on foreigners (and many western foreigners are indeed to blame), but don't forget that the problem starts at HOME (Cambodia)!

Regardless of who the perpetrators are, I feel great sadness for the victims :-(

Grace said...

I saw a very similar problem when I visited the Dominican Republic. It was often rich foreigners who were the most obvious, but like has been mentioned, I also saw local men doing the same thing.

My heart goes out to the children who will one day grow up to be adults and who knows what crimes they will then perpetuate on children as adults.

I became interested in this topic after a pediatrician I worked with in the U.S. was arrested for this crime. Yours is the first blog I've read regarding it. Cambodian, Thai and Vietnamese children will be added to my prayer list. God help the poor in this world!