Convicted Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen yesterday left Phnom Penh on a 7:30pm flight for Bangkok, according to Hank Werston, the Dutch police liaison officer who was to accompany him on the flight.
From Bangkok, Ceulen is scheduled to take a direct flight to Belgium, according to Child Protection Unit (CPU) director James McCabe. Once in Belgium, he will begin serving a 19-year prison sentence for a hideous catalogue of child sexual abuse across several countries.
Ceulen’s deportation was touch and go for a while, with a crucial signature missing from his paperwork until roughly an hour before he was scheduled to fly, according to Werston.
On January 21, an Antwerp court found Ceulen guilty of a string of child pornography production and sexual abuse offences committed in Cambodia and the Philippines, some against his own foster children.
That same day, Ceulen’s neighbours saw him arrive at his villa in Siem Reap. He had been allowed to leave Belgium while on trial thanks to an administrative error at court.
After nearly a month and a half on the run, Ceulen turned himself in at a Phnom Penh police station on March 10.
Cambodia does not have an extradition treaty with Belgium. Local media reported that officials considered trying him in a Cambodian court for the crimes he committed in the Kingdom, although finally it was decided he should serve the sentence handed to him in Antwerp.