PHNOM PENH – Dutch fugitive pedophile Pieter Ceulen,55, who was sentenced in absentia in Belgium to 19 years in prison for sexually abusing minors and for possession and distribution of child pornography, was arrested on Friday by the Cambodian police in Phnom Penh.
Pieter Ceulen, surrendered to the authorities Friday afternoon after realizing he could not leave the country owing to the intense media attention his case had generated, activist James McCabe, from the Child Protection Unit, told reporters.
â€œHe is now being held at the National Police headquarters of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department,â€ McCabe said, adding that Cambodia will hand him over to the Belgian and Dutch police.
On Friday, the police raided several buildings in search of the Dutchman in the city of Siam Reap, the main tourist destination of northern Cambodia, famous for the Angkor Wat complex, a world heritage site.
The 55-year-old Dutch is also on Interpolâ€™s list of most wanted fugitives for rape, sexual exploitation of minors and child pornography.
During the 1990s, Cambodia became a favorite destination for pedophiles who obtained immunity by bribing officials in a weak police and judicial system, although the situation began to change in 2007 with authorities enforcing stricter controls.