Siem Reap provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection officers on Friday worked with Phnom Penh police to arrest a Russian national for allegedly paying for sex with three minors, the bureau head involved in the operation said.
Chea Heng, the chief of the Siem Reap provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau, told The Post on Sunday that 30-year-old Russian Roman Bak Tigzih was arrested in the capital on Friday afternoon near the Australian Embassy in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune.
“The arrest of this Russian man followed a warrant being issued by the Siem Reap Provincial Court ordering the suspect to be brought to court for his involvement in paying for sex with children in May and June this year,” Heng said.
He said the Siem Reap Provincial Court had ordered the suspect to be placed in pre-trial detention.
A report by the Siem Reap provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau said that in May and June, the suspect persuaded three minors to engage in sexual activities in a hotel room in Siem Reap town.
It said the suspect groomed the three children by giving them high-quality fashion wear, good food and some money.
Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking deputy police chief Duong Thavry told The Post on Sunday that after receiving a complaint from the victims’ parents, police officers began an investigation and gathered a case to present to the court to begin legal proceedings.
The court subsequently issued a warrant to bring the suspect in for questioning, but he had been on the run until Friday.
“After a three-month investigation, specialist officials were able to determine where the suspect was living. Then, Siem Reap police cooperated with their Phnom Penh counterparts on Friday afternoon to arrest the suspect and send him to the court to follow legal procedures,” Thavry said.
Witnesses to the arrest on Friday said they saw the suspect travelling in a tuk-tuk with a Toyota Land Cruiser close behind.
The Land Cruiser then stopped in front of the tuk-tuk, and plainclothes police officers got out of the car and took the suspect in their vehicle.
The witnesses said the suspect shouted for help from passing motorists, but they were told that the occupants of the Land Cruiser were Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department police officers who had a warrant from the Siem Reap Provincial Court to bring the suspect in for paying for sex with minors.