Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cops tracking fugitive soldier



Cops tracking fugitive soldier

Michael Harris
Michael Harris, poses for a photo at an unknown location and date. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Cops tracking fugitive soldier

An American soldier who escaped to Cambodia in January, deserting the army after his arrest for possessing child pornography and amid allegations of child rape, remains on the run in the Kingdom after he was found on Wednesday working as a dog trainer in Sihanoukville.

Thirty-four-year-old Michael Edward Harris, who called himself Michael Dobbs in Cambodia, fled his apartment yesterday after local internet users found photos of him at a dog training centre in Sihanoukville.

“Now he has just left Preah Sihanouk province and escaped to another province in Cambodia,” said Uk Hai Sela, investigations chief at the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department, declining to comment on where Harris had gone.

“We hope to arrest him soon, in the next couple days.”

Harris entered the Kingdom on January 17, said Hai Sela, explaining that the reason it took so long to find him was because he only stayed in small guesthouses and moved after one or two days.

But sources who requested anonymity confirmed to the Post that Harris had consistently stayed in his flat for over three months before he fled.

Khoem Vando, head of APLE, an NGO which works with the government to track down pedophiles, said Harris was known to be in Cambodia for at least a month but could not be found.

Vando said that Harris’s current whereabouts are unknown, saying APLE agents acted upon reports yesterday that Harris was in Phnom Penh but to no avail.

Harris’s ex-wife, Denise Diaz, a former police officer in Kentucky, was frustrated at the slow response to finding Harris and started a Facebook group to track him down.

Diaz, who counts two of her children as Harris’s victims, said it only took three minutes after she posted an American news report about Harris in an online forum for expats to spot Harris.

“If I can get all that how come the government can’t?”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through