Cambodian authorities moved Thursday night to deport a Russian businessman convicted of sexually abusing more than a dozen Cambodian girls and later pardoned by the country’s king.
Alexander Trofimov, also known as Stanislav Molodyakov, was scheduled to be put on a plane at 11:00 p.m. Cambodia time and deported to Russia, where he is wanted on additional charges of rape.
Speaking to RFA, Cambodian Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said that the Russian embassy in Cambodia had completed their share of the paperwork related to Trofimov’s return to Russia.
“They already confirmed that they have the paperwork,” he said.
“The documents show that [Trofimov] will be deported to Russia and will not be allowed to return.”
In a June 19 interview, Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal said that Trofimov would be deported on June 21 at 11:00 p.m.
He added that Trofimov posed a threat to Cambodia’s national security and that the country had decided to expel him unilaterally, and not at Russia’s request.
Pung Chhiv Kek, president of the Cambodian rights group Licadho, praised the government’s decision to expel the Russian pedophile.
“From today on, Cambodia shouldn’t allow pedophiles to come to this country,” she said.
Trofimov was arrested in Cambodia in October 2007 on charges of buying sex from 17 girls between the ages of six and 13 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The sentence was reduced to eight years on appeal, and he was later pardoned by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni in December 2011 and released from jail.
Anti-human trafficking groups expressed dismay at the release, but Cambodia’s Prince Sisowath Thomico told RFA that the king had granted the pardon based on a government request.
Before his 2007 arrest, Trofimov was chairman of a Russian-led investment group poised to develop a U.S. $300 million tourist resort on a Cambodian island.
Trofimov was found in June to be living with a 12-year-old girl in Kandal province and was arrested again and held on a deportation order issued in March.
Seila Samleang, director of the anti-pedophile group Action Pour Les Enfants, welcomed the decision to remove Trofimov from the country.
“This measure will ensure the security of our children in Cambodia,” he said.
“If he were allowed to stay in Cambodia, hundreds of victims might fall into his hands.”
Dozens of foreigners have been jailed for sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries since Cambodia launched an anti-pedophilia push in 2003 in a bid to shake off its reputation as a haven for sex predators.
Reported by Khe Sornorng and Den Ayuthya for RFA’s Khmer service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Richard Finney.