Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dutch pedo Pieter Ceulen arrested in capital

Dutch pedo Pieter Ceulen arrested in capital

Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen sits in custody in Phnom Penh after turning himself in to police earlier today. CPU
Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen sits in custody in Phnom Penh after turning himself in to police earlier today. CPU

Dutch pedo Pieter Ceulen arrested in capital

Cambodian authorities yesterday took convicted Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen into custody in Phnom Penh, with the fugitive businessman negotiating his surrender via lawyers.

“After intensive investigation occurred over the last week, Task Force Echo can proudly announce the arrest of the wanted fugitive Pieter Ceulen at approximately 12pm,” said James McCabe, of the Child Protection Unit, which has been assisting in the investigation.

“[The arrest] occurred in Phnom Penh as a result of negotiations with the offender, who after being the subject of intensive media and investigation believed he could not escape from Cambodia and, on that basis, decided to hand himself in to members of CPU and the task force,” McCabe said, noting the hard work of those involved.

“The suspect will be processed to be formally handed over to the Belgian and Dutch police.”

Quoted by Belgian news outlet VRT News, Luc De Mot, of the Antwerp Judicial Authorities, said Ceulen would be sent to Belgium and taken into custody.

The 60-year-old had fled to Cambodia to avoid a 19-year prison sentence delivered by a Belgian court on January 21.

Tried in absentia, the wealthy businessman was convicted for distributing child pornography and sex offences against children in the Kingdom, where he owns business and property, and the Philippines.

On the day of the sentence, Ceulen was spotted by Siem Reap residents at his villa.

The sightings, which continued through late January, generated complaints on discussion forums that Cambodian authorities were ignoring the case.

McCabe said that after receiving the necessary paperwork from Europe in late February, authorities moved quickly, establishing the task force on March 2, which included the Ministry of Interior’s judicial police, anti-human trafficking police, Siem Reap anti-human trafficking police and CPU investigators.

The noose tightening, Ceulen reached out to authorities on Thursday, following raids on several of his properties.

“All involved partners have worked hard to get him,” Pol Pithey, director of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department at Ministry of Interior, said yesterday.

Ceulen’s lawyer, Dirk Grootjans, also quoted by VRT News, said his client had fled because he needed some time to let the “stiff sentence … sink in”.

McCabe said pedophiles should take note. “This should be a warning to all foreign pedophiles that perceive Cambodia as a safe haven: those days are well and truly gone. You will be located and will be arrested and returned.”


  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty