A coalition of 14 international and national NGOs working to protect children in Cambodia have petitioned Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Ministry of Interior Sor Kheng, requesting that Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov be deported from Cambodia. Trofimov, also known as Stanislav Molodyakov, is believed to be in Sihanoukville, following his controversial release from Preah Sihanouk provincial prison on December 20.
As international and local non-governmental organisations registered with the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affairs collaborate with the Royal Government of Cambodia in preventing, protecting and eradicating human trafficking and sexual exploitation especially of children, we are honoured to inform, Excellency, that: Alexander Trofimov, alias SASA, male, 45 – the former director of Snake Island Investment Co in Preah Sihanouk province – was arrested by Cambodian police from the Department of Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection in October 2007 on three different charges:
Criminal file No1495 dated 05/9/2007 of Phnom Penh municipal court, involving a 13 year-old girl, under charge of debauchery; Criminal file No 328 dated 22/10/2007 of Preah Sihanouk provincial court, involving an eight-year-old girl, under charge of purchase of child prostitution; and Criminal file No 330 dated 25/10/2007 of Preah Sihanouk provincial court, involving 15 girls aged six to 17 years, under charge of indecent act against minors under 15.
Summary of Facts
While he was in Preah Sihanouk province in 2004-2007, Alexander Trofimov, alias SASA contracted, lured, tricked and procured at least 21 underage girls from seven brokers for sexual abuse perpetrated at Snake Island, Snake House guesthouse and his rented residence in Preah Sihanouk province. In 2007, with NGOs’ assistance, four and later more families filed formal complaints with Preah Sihanouk provincial anti-human trafficking police, subsequently leading to arrest of Alexander Trofimov and his seven brokers who provided girls to him.
A total of 21 girls, including a mute girl, were rescued and brought to care by NGOs. Two girls known as Alexander Trofimov’s fostered daughters later dropped the charges and three others were classified as witnesses by the Court, leaving 16 girls to testify.
Alexander Trofimov, known in Interpol’s wanted list as Stanislav Molodyakov, was reported to have raped six girls aged nine to 10 years in Russia and later escaped to live and lead a US$300 million resort investment project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The Russian Embassy has requested extradition of Stanislav Molodyakov, but the request was rejected by Cambodia, reasoning that Alexander Trofimov should have served his sentence first.
Summary of Court Proceedings
Referring to Phnom Penh municipal court’s verdict No 30 dated 14/3/2008, Alexander Trofimov was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay US$100,000 compensation for debauchery offense committed in Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh. Referring to Preah Sihanouk provincial court’s verdict No 29 dated 25/11/2008, Alexander Trofimov was sentenced to eight years in prison for purchasing child prostitution committed in Mithpheap district, Preah Sihanouk province.
Referring to Preah Sihanouk provincial court’s verdict No 03 dated 20/01/2009, Alexander Trofimov was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay five million riel compensation to 15 victims each for offenses related to indecent acts against minors and indecent assault committed in Mithpheap district, Preah Sihanouk province.
Referring to Appeal Court’s verdict No 51 dated 26/8/2010, Alexander Trofimov was sentenced to a consolidated imprisonment of eight years and ordered to pay $5,000 compensation to one victim and five million riel to 15 victims each. His accomplices were sentenced to two to six years imprisonment.
On 20/12/2011, Alexander Trofimov was released from Preah Sihanouk prison as a result of royal pardon after he had served only a little more than four years in prison out of the eight years consolidated sentence. He has not been ordered to leave the country and his location remains unknown. The Russian Embassy’s request for extradition has been ignored.
Excellency, we are very disappointed with the result of this case. Having seen the three initial sentences handed down by Preah Sihanouk provincial court and Phnom Penh municipal court, we had hoped that Alexander Troffimov would have served his total 24 years in prison and then be deported from Cambodia. It was then shocking when Appeals Court consolidated and reduced his sentence to eight years, which is very lenient and inconsistent with his aggravating acts, the number of victims and the suffering that all the victims and their families have experienced.
The decision to reduce Alexander Trofimov’s sentence can send a negative message to the Cambodian people and does not reflect the hard-earned efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia in stopping human trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as child sex tourism. It is instead devastating to the victims, their families and many others who had hoped that justice would have been served and the criminals severely punished. This practice can also be foreseen as failure to deter similar criminal activities in the future.
We all acknowledge that the royal pardon granted to Alexander Trofimov is made in no violation of any law, but it is perceived to affect Cambodia’s reputation and the efforts that we are all taking in collaboration with the government to prevent child sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia. It could also be viewed as a “threat” to the safety of children, especially the most vulnerable ones.
Alexander Trofimov seems to have been granted special favours, ranging from consolidation of his sentence, being kept in a special comfortable prison room, frequently allowed to go out of prison, reduction of sentence granted once per year and royal pardon. Alexander Trofimov’s release allows him opportunity to repeat his criminal acts against Cambodian children.
The victims’ families, who have been informed about the release and return of Alexander Trofimov into the community, have expressed their frustration, fear and concern for their safety. They feel Alexander Trofimov may well take revenge and again use his wealth and power to exploit more children. They also want that Alexander Trofimov be removed from their community and immediately deported from Cambodia, to keep all Cambodian children safe. Allowing Trofimov to remain free in the community leaves victims and their families living in a long-term, highly traumatic situation, where they continue to feel unsafe and are unable to recover from the abuses committed against them.
We, as child protection NGOs, directly and indirectly involved in this case have great concerns about the safety of the children, especially those who are former victims. We fear that Alexander Trofimov will again abuse children as he did after escaping his past in Russia. Statistically, rate of repeat offense of this type is high.
Excellency, we are confident in your leadership and commitment. You have proven in several previous cases already where Dutch, UK, US, Belgian and German convicted felons were deported from Cambodia immediately after they completely served their sentence. Even if the government explains that the pardon for Alexander Trofimov is made for the benefit of Cambodia, the safety and future of all children should be prioritised as they are the future of Cambodia and certainly more valuable than Alexander Trofimov’s US$300 million investment.
Excellency, we are currently helping victims of Alexander Trofimov to recover from this very traumatic experience. Some of them are still taking vocational training to improve their lives while others have been reintegrated to the families with the continuing family-based support from our NGOs. This is a long-term process, which unfortunately seems to have been interrupted already by the return of Alexander Trofimov in the community. They will continue to live in fear if he is free in their community.
We sincerely believe that deporting Alexander Trofimov from Cambodia will help to redress this situation and ensure a better chance for children to live and grow in a safe environment, a basic child right.
As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Cambodia needs to consistently adhere to it. Alexander Trofimov’s deportation will ensure child safety in Cambodia.
We, therefore, would like to call on the government to immediately revoke Alexander Trofimov’s visa and deport him from Cambodia.
Excellency, we all trust you will take our request into consideration for the benefit of all Cambodian children and their future as you carefully did in the past cases.
Please be reassured of our highest respect for your dedicated leadership and cooperation.