Cambodia's police finally have the green light to pursue, arrest and expel notorious Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov, but at least some of them believe he may have already slipped over the border.
Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Tak Vantha said police had begun searching for Trofimov after receiving an order for his arrest from the Ministry of Interior last week.
“I think that he disappeared from the province for a long time. I heard recent rumours (while investigating) that he may have escaped to Vietnam or Thailand,” Tak Vantha said.
A coalition of 14 international and national NGOs petitioned the government in January to deport Trofimov, also known as Stanislav Molodyakov, after his release from the Preah Sihanouk provincial prison in December following a royal pardon.
He had served half of his eight-year sentence.
Samleang Seila, director of Action Pour les Enfants, one of the NGOs that signed the petition, said he had not officially heard from the Ministry of Interior about the petition, but supported the decision to apprehend Trofimov.
“It is the correct step by the government to protect children from official harm; it shows they are committed to reducing incidents of sexual abuse,” Samleang Seila said.
The order also sent a strong warning to would-be pedophiles that sexual abuse in Cambodia would not be tolerated, he added.
Licadho director Naly Pilorge had earlier told the Post Trofimov should be deported to Russia if he was arrested.
“He is a dangerous individual, and Russia is in a better situation – both courts and law enforcement – to deal with the individual. He is too dangerous an individual to remain in Cambodia,” she said.
The Russian embassy previously had its request for Trofimov’s extradition turned down by the government, which said it wanted Trofimov to serve his sentence first.
Trofimov, who is wanted by Interpol for raping six girls aged nine to 10 in Russia, was convicted and jailed for abusing 17 Cambodian girls between 2005 and 2007.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]