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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man about town: 15 August 2014

Man about town: 15 August 2014

Once again a well-known and convivial expat, Australian Trevor Lake, 65, has been busted for child sex charges and once again the local rumour mill has gone into overdrive, with allegations of a set-up and other sometimes far flung theories.

One theory was that Lake arrested simply because he was wealthy, but rumours of his wealth were exaggerated. Lake himself was quick to drop into conversation the fact that he had recently sold a farm in the lush Hunter Valley region of New South Wales in Australia. But concerned friends of his in Sydney informed Man About that the 'farm' was a bush acreage block, and certainly now worth millions.

News reports of Lake’s arrest mentioned that he was the country manager for Trails of Indochina Tours, which is one of the heavyweight businesses in the tour industry. This gave Lake a lot of influence and he certainly attracted a host of friends within the hospitality sector in town.

But interestingly just over a week before his arrest, he resigned and officially informed many of his customers in town that he was retiring to live life as a man of leisure in Siem Reap because he quite liked our humble little town. Apparently the corporate nature of Trails of Indochina wasn’t to his liking, and this week the company’s COO was in town to pick up the pieces left by Lake’s resignation, followed by his sensational and widely publicised arrest, which of course linked him to the company.

Lake signed on as country manager for Saigon-headquartered Trails of Indochina, one of the largest inbound tour operators in Cambodia, on March 11 last year.

In 1996 the influential Australian Financial Review ran a series of articles about the pioneers of the Australian travel industry, and Lake was one of only six people featured in the series. On May 8, 2011, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Lake
extensively in an article on the expansion of the Vietnamese tourism industry Meanwhile, on Monday Khmer reporter Thik Kaliyann spoke to local authorities about updates on Lake’s arrest.

Chhoun Sophanha, deputy prosecutor said Lake was detained in jail and charged with purchasing child prostitution and producing child porn.

“After we questioned him last week, we decided to detain him temporary in Siem Reap provincial prison and we will investigate more on this case,” Chhoun Sophanha said.

Ms Doung Thavery, chief of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police, said Lake was arrested by Cambodian juvenile protection police on Tuesday last week in Siem Reap after one of the victims allegedly stated that he paid her to have sex with him and that the sexual activities were filmed and photographed without her permission..

Doung Thavery added, “Trevor Lake paid two underage girls aged 16 and 17 to have sex with him and the sexual activities were filmed and photographed.”

Anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) claimed in a news release that while police were searching Lake’s apartment, they found a laptop with images and video footage of him having sex with the girls. Two laptops, three cameras and two external hard disks were apparently confiscated for further analysis.

BEARING WITNESS: The Jehovah’s Witness’s Siem Reap chapter is busy building a new “Kingdom Hall,” the religious organisation’s place of worship, in a new housing tract behind the Galaxy Football Club on Bakheng Club Road on Svaydangkum village, and near the French School.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Submissions are due on September 16 for papers on new research on ceramics in Cambodia for Khmer Studies conference in town on December 6-8.
REALLY: A small $55 per night lodging house in town promises the delight of, “Bed type – real bed.”



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