A"mateurs trying to get a foot in the door," was how Christian Guth,
International Police Adviser to the Ministry of Interior, yesterday described
Jack Sanders and Gerald Thorns, the two New Zealanders claiming to be the
directors of an anti-pedophilia NGO called Global-PAC (Protect All
Gerald Thorns, right, with Brig Gen Thong Lim, toy animals and a miniature infrared-capable camera for use in concealed tracking work and "non-threatening interviews of victims". Gen Lim was introduced as Global-PAC's "honorary president". Government police adviser Christian Guth says the police were unwise to accept gifts from such an informal source.
"Our generals were unwise to accept gifts from them," he
"Extremely dubious," said Mike Bush, police liaison officer at the
New Zealand Embassy, Bangkok. "They are not wanted for any crime but I would
definitely like to have a meeting with them about certain matters that I cannot
discuss with the media. Because they are New Zealanders I personally have an
interest in whether their motives are genuine. Only time will tell if they are
credible and legitimate."
Sanders and Thorns surfaced in Phnom Penh,
possibly up to something, two weeks ago. Possibly flushed out by a broadcast
email from the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong, labeling them possible
scam artists. You could tell something hit the fan because newshounds from
several countries went into piranha attack mode, a website called Scoop was full
of it, conspiracy theorists, "black op" followers, and intel observers (of
unknown parentage, authenticity and location) plugged into the loop with their
own bizarre chatter. It spreads quicker than an Aussie bush fire.
careful if you go down this rabbit hole; it is very, very deep my
This was the last line of an email to the Post a few days ago by
John Woodrow, warning us to be careful in dealings with Sanders and Thorns, who
the source claimed were security intelligence "deep cover operatives", using an
apparently legit cover anti-pedophile NGO.
He claimed to have met the
pair, and two others named Chamberlain and Richards in Afghanistan. "They use
cult followers for expendable deep ops. Sanders uses cults, criminals,
high-level politicians, family members for deep cover intel work, trained by
Chamblerlain. Thorns NZ SIS deep cover operative, operations in Taiwan, China,
Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Chile, Spain. Chamberlain trained Sanders, was best
man at Sanders' wedding in 1994. Sanders wife suspected of selling Chinese intel
NZ & Aust govts. Richards Canadian intel agent & lawyer who drafted exec
order to scrap money laundering and passport scheme before Nauru president
suddenly died of a heart attack."
The Post met Sanders and Thorns by
invitation at the office of the Anti-Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police,
a department of the Ministry of Interior. The director, General Un Sokunthea,
was there, also Brig Gen Thong Lim, deputy director of Central Justice. He was
introduced as "honorary president" of Global-PAC in Cambodia; JS and GT said
they'd met him at a conference in Bangkok.
The purpose of the meeting was
to acquaint the Post with the facts about what Global-PAC was doing in Cambodia;
we also took photos (Sanders declined, but then volunteered a new passport
mugshot, and directed us to a celebrity website where he is pictured at a party
with actor Sam Neill and Australian Immigration Minister Amanda
Although the Post seems to have been the only media invited to
meet them, another journalist was briefly present, Martin Chulov from The
Australian, an investigative writer who claimed to have known the pair for some
time and has published articles about their "Embassy of Nauru" in Beijing which
was used to smuggle high-level defectors out of North Korea. He wasn't sure what
was happening in Cambodia, but reckoned they weren't scam artists, that their
cover was legit, and that they were good company and good copy. Chulov later
told me someone had phoned his editor alleging he was a spy by
Sanders and Thorns produced a written statement describing
Global-PAC as a "virtual NGO" with no offices, operating in 11 countries, with
20 directors, who meet twice yearly to receive reports on how donor money has
been spent and to plan future work. They claim that businesses and
philanthropists give Global-PAC money for anti-pedophile work.
stated this in an email: "We gather evidence on sex tourists and pedophiles and
provide to law enforcement agencies in Cambodia or to the embassies of the
culprit's country of origin. That is why we are not eager to give personal
details. We are watched by pedophiles, just as we watch them."
told me the organized sex tourism business had become secure, sophisticated,
very lucrative, and sophisticated enforcement strategies were required. This was
why Global-PAC donated a quantity of infrared video surveillance and recording
gear, to be used in tracking potential pedophiles at night from concealed
positions at a distance. They also wanted to establish a safe interview room in
Sihanoukville, and provide training and coaching to enforcement officers, and
guesthouses liable to be used by sex tourists. They had a laminated poster for
guesthouses stating "We report pedophiles to the police."
Gen Thong Lim
said he had received no money from Sanders and Thorns, neither had he given them
any. He was helping them find suitable premises in Sihanoukville. General
Sokunthea told me later (through her translator): "I know nothing about
Global-PAC or the two men. I will neither support nor deny their application to
register as an NGO. I will not be made use of by GP for promotional
"I am grateful for the donation of equipment provided for
enforcement as the police desperately need but cannot afford such equipment.
That is my only interest. Whatever relationship Brig Gen Thong Lim has with GP
is his business."
The FCCHK cancelled Global-PAC's presentation after
becoming concerned at what they might be doing, and after seeing their "dodgy"
website which has somewhat pornographic images of scantily clad young girls
presumably meant to be examples of pedophile targets, plus a description of the
NGO, and an invitation to "Donate Now!"
The FCC's email was widely
distributed to media. However, Sanders and Thorns say they were mystified at the
cancellation and could only presume the FCC decided the subject matter was not
sufficiently entertaining for the club.
Last week Sanders says he
accompanied Yoichi Clark Shimatsu, a former Japan Times editor, who he described
as GP's researcher, to the Fringe Club in Hong Kong, next to the FCC, where
Shimatsu gave a luncheon talk about GP's work and objectives, attended by church
leaders and diplomats. Sanders says the content included involvement of cultic
and military group involvement in child abuse.
JS and GT said they are
genuine, Christian family men with a serious mission. "While we are new to
Cambodia, we are already active in a number of key areas of relevance to
protection of children. Unlike many NGOs, whose funding appears to depend on it,
we are not headline hunters or grandstanding to generate publicity; we prefer to
work quietly behind the scenes. Publicity could easily undermine some of our
charitable activities and greatly compromise the effectiveness of our
I sought comment from the following about
British Ambassador, Stephen Bridges [who had a two-hour
meeting with Sanders and Thorns at the Sunway Hotel; Sanders says he was moved
to tears by what Bridges told him about child sex abuse in Cambodia]: "I was
introduced to Sanders via a friend in South China [where Sanders lives]. They
have been to Cambodia on several short visits. I have no reason to doubt their
authenticity. I applaud any organization that is prepared to make a positive
contribution towards reducing sexual abuse of children, which is a massive
problem in Cambodia."
Gary Neil, Federal Police Adviser, Australian
Embassy: "I know nothing about Global-PAC or the directors. I have only seen
Christian Guth, Ministry of Interior: "These people
appear to be enthusiastic amateurs trying to establish themselves in Cambodia.
They are not professionals, that's for sure. Their direct approach to generals
Sokunthea and Lim was improper and the generals were imprudent in accepting
gifts from them, even though it is equipment that the police need.
normal, acceptable approach by NGOs is to go through the Minister, with a letter
of introduction, which leads to analysis of proposals by people in the field, a
Memorandum of Understanding and a formal agreement. It takes time, it can't be
done quickly. I can say that the police will not be having any more involvement
with these people."
Deirdre O'Shea, staff member with the Starfish
community NGO in Sihanoukville: "A network of NGOs in Sihanoukville is
conducting research on child sexual exploitation, culminating in an advocacy
campaign and information dissemination. We have permissions from the Governor;
we do not want unscrupulous actors jeopardising that effort, or its
The last email the Post received from Global-PAC was: "I
think there is a lot of disinfo being fired around about us. Hopefully we will
continue our plans but it depends on the fallout from the press reports and the
Cambodian Government accepting our version of what is really happening behind
the scenes. Cheers. Jack."