Suspected US paedophile William David Brenner, who was hiding in Cambodia to escape child sexual abuses charges back home, has been arrested by police in Preah Sihanouk province.
Police officials said that Mr Brenner will first be questioned by the General Immigration Department prior to being handed to United States embassy officials.
General Sok Phal, General Immigration Department director-general, said yesterday that Mr Brenner was arrested Wednesday night as he was leaving his hotel in the provincial city.
Gen Phal declined to comment further.
Major General Chuon Narin, the provincial police chief, said the GID had informed his department to locate the suspect and make the arrest after it was notified by US embassy officials of Mr Brenner’s presence and of child sexual abuse charges against him.
“He was arrested with an arrest warrant in the evening,” Maj Gen Narin said.
The US’ Regional Security Office in Cambodia earlier this week requested the assistance of the GID to arrest Mr Brenner.
In a statement, the RSO said Mr Brenner entered Cambodia without valid travel documents, which is a violation of Cambodian immigration law. It noted that relevant US agencies were tasked with locating Mr Brenner.
“The US embassy cooperated with Cambodian law enforcement officers to arrest William Brenner, who is facing charges in the United States,” Emily Zeeberg, US embassy information officer, said in an email.
Ms Zeeberg added that further questions should be addressed to police.
Lieutenant General Uk Heisela, GID’s investigation chief, said yesterday that Mr Brenner is going to be handed to US embassy officials after his questioning.
Lt Gen Heisela added that Mr Brenner was arrested at about 7.30pm.
“Police officers are now questioning him and I don’t yet have detailed information,” Lt Gen Heisela said, adding that the deportation process could take at least one week.
Samleang Seila, Anti-Paedophile Action Pour Les Enfants country director, said that the government should ban Mr Brenner from the Kingdom.
“We urge Cambodian authorities to quickly deport him and blacklist him from ever entering Cambodia again,” Mr Seila said.