Southeast Asia's seedy reputation
Amalee McCoy, Child protection specialist at Unicef in Thailand
Aug. 15 2008 - Even after a number of high-profile arrests of child molesters, Southeast Asia retains its reputation as a haven for pedophiles.
Canadian school teacher Christopher Neil was sentenced for child abuse in Thailand .
He also faces charges in Cambodia.
Christopher Paul NEIL, a Canadian national apprehended in Thailand following INTERPOL’s unprecedented public appeal for help in identifying a man photographed sexually abusing children, has been sentenced by a Bangkok court to 3 years and 3 months in prison. He had pleaded guilty on 12 May to sexually abusing a Thai boy. This is the first of two cases for which Neil was charged.
The court found him guilty of all charges and first sentenced him to 6 years and 6 months, but reduced his sentence on account of his guilty plea. He was also ordered to pay 60,000 Thai Bahts (around 1,800 US dollars) to the family of the victim as compensation. Neil, aged 33, was arrested by the Royal Thai Police on 19 October 2007, just 11 days after INTERPOL launched its global public appeal known as Operation Vico. The appeal was initiated after German police computer experts successfully produced clear images of Neil's face, which had been digitally swirled to disguise his image in more than 200 images of child sex abuse found on the Internet. VIA
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Child protection groups say poverty, corruption and a lack of laws to protect minors make the region a popular destination for pedophiles.
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