Alexander Trofimov, who built a $300 million tourist resort in the country, was arrested at the house of an under-aged girl outside of the capital Phnom Penh, police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told AFP, adding authorities will try to deport him shortly.
“Police arrested him yesterday (Monday)… while he was hiding with a local family,” Chantharith said, adding that the Russian “loved the family’s daughter, who is 11 or 12 years old”.
“According to policy, we will have to expel him very soon,” he added.
Trofimov was arrested in 2007 facing 17 complaints of sexually abusing minors, the youngest just six years old, and was jailed for 17 years — reduced on appeal to eight years.
But the businessman was controversially freed early in December last year after receiving a royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni, dismaying child protection campaigners who demanded his deportation to Russia.
Keo Vanthan, head of Cambodia’s Interpol office, said the Russian is also on the organisation’s most-wanted list for sex offences in his home country and will be deported.
Welcoming Monday’s arrest Seila Samleang, director of the anti-paedophile group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), said Trofimov’s detention can end “his long history” of abuse in Cambodia.
“We recommend that the Cambodian government honour the extradition request from Russia, and assist Russia in whatever ways possible to prosecute Alexander Trofimov,” she added.
Trofimov is chairman of Koh Pos Investment Company, which in 2006 received permission to build a $300 million resort on Koh Pos, known also as Snake Island, off Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia.
Dozens of foreigners have been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries since Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 in a bid to shake off its reputation as a haven for child sex offenders.