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Thais say Americans wanted in body-parts case 'in Cambodia'

Thais say Americans wanted in body-parts case 'in Cambodia'

Thai police are seeking two Americans after the body parts of several babies – said to be stolen from a medical museum – were found in five parcels destined for the United States over the weekend.

The two men, aged 31 and 33, left Thailand and crossed into Cambodia yesterday, according to Sombat Milintajinda, a Thai police official assigned to the case.

They were questioned and released over the weekend after saying they’d bought the parts at a local market. Milintajinda said they went through a crossing in Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo province.

One of the Americans was identified as Ryan Edward McPherson, whose age and nationality match those of the director of Bumfights, a video series that paid homeless people to fight each other on camera.

Authorities say the baby parts were preserved in formaldehyde solution and contained a left foot, skull, face and heart as well as pieces of skin tattooed with Khmer letters and tiger patterns.

Discovered during a scan of packages at a DHL package depot in Bangkok, the boxes were addressed to Las Vegas and marked “toys”.

The medical faculty of Siriraj Hospital in Thailand said yesterday that the parts were stolen from its medical museum last month. Faculty dean Dr Udom Kachintorn said the five bottles containing human organs belonged to the museum.

Siriraj checked the footage of security cameras back to last month and it was found that one of the two foreigners who were interrogated by police had visited the museum. However, the security camera footage did not show whether the man had stolen the items, Udom said.

The dean said Siriraj had not been aware the items were missing because individual departments contributed their collections for exhibition at the museum.

In Cambodia, Lieutenant General Chhay Sinarith, deputy commissioner of the National Police, said the Thais had thus far not asked for their cooperation.

“We have no information and the Thai authorities have also not contacted us yet.”

AFP AND BANGKOK POST/ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEANG SOKHA

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