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German nabbed on paedophile charges

A GERMAN national was arrested in Preah Sihanouk province Tuesday on charges of committing indecent acts with two boys, ages 11 and 14, and has remained in police custody for questioning before his case is sent to court, according to Suon Sophan, deputy chief of the province's Department of Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection.

Suon Sophan identified the suspect as a 46-year-old man named Walter Orson Novak, and said he was arrested at a guesthouse where he was renting a room.

Samleang Seila, country director of the anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said officials at his group became suspicious last week when they saw the suspect buying food for, and giving money to, a group of six boys.  

He said he reported the man to police following conversations with APLE officials in which two of the boys said the man had taken them to the beach and given them US$5 to play with each other's genitals. He said police corroborated the incident after they interviewed the boys, although Suon Sophan would not comment on what specific actions police believed the man had committed.

The incident follows a spate of arrests of foreigners for sex crimes against minors. Preah Sihanouk's provincial court last Friday charged a French national with committing indecent acts with two girls, ages 10 and 13. Last Tuesday, an American man was arrested in Siem Reap on charges of purchasing sex with two boys, ages 13 and 14. 

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