Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov (left) rides a jet ski with two unidentified females near Sihanoukville in this undated photograph. Photograph: supplied
If all went according to plan last night, Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov is finally another country’s problem.
Authorities were to put the convicted sex offender on a South Korea-bound flight late yesterday evening, booting him out from the Kingdom and ending months of speculation and outrage that followed his December pardon.
“Wherever he goes from Seoul is up to him,” Chhay Sinarith, director of the Internal Security Department at the Ministry of Interior, said.
Why Trofimov, also known as Stanislav Molodyakov, was sent to South Korea instead of Russia, where he holds citizenship and is also wanted on sexual abuse charges, was not clear.
His future once the plane lands in Korea is even murkier. Seung Gyoo-park, consul at Republic of Korea’s Embassy here, said they had not received an application for nor issued any visa to Russian nationals.
“The embassy hasn’t been notified about him by anybody,” said Seung Gyoo Park.
The move brings to an end five months of public furore triggered last December when King Norodom Sihamoni pardoned Trofimov – convicted of abusing 17 Cambodian girls between 2005 and 2007 – when he was just halfway into a sentence already reduced from 17 years to eight and a half.
After being free for five months, he was taken back into custody on June 4 when Cambodian authorities with a deportation order from the Ministry of Interior arrested him in Kandal province, where he was found living in a home where a 12-year-old girl also resided.
NGOs have consistently called for his deportation, saying his presence is a continued threat to Cambodian children.
Interpol has been seeking the extradition of Trofimov, an investor in a US$300 million mega-resort in Sihanoukville, for allegedly sexually abusing minors in Russia, a country that Cambodia is still negotiating an extradition treaty with.
The Russian Embassy could not be reached yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at firstname.lastname@example.org