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Cablegate: Germany/Tip - Police Investigations Highlight

VZCZCXRO4020
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0601 0821607
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231607Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7627
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0234
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0049
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 0033

UNCLAS BERLIN 000601

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/AGS, EUR/PGI, DRL/IL, G/TIP, INL/HSTC, AND EAP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN ELAB SMIG ASEC PGOV GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY/TIP - POLICE INVESTIGATIONS HIGHLIGHT
EFFORTS AGAINST CHILD SEX TOURISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

1. Summary: A number of TIP-related police investigations
concluded in recent weeks highlight German efforts to
prosecute German nationals allegedly engaged in child sex
tourism and other forms of trafficking in South East Asian
countries. Over the past two years, German law enforcement
agencies have stepped up cooperation with police and
government authorities in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
End Summary.

2. Since the beginning of 2006, the German Federal Office of
Criminal Investigation (BKA) has stepped up cooperation with
Thai law enforcement officials to investigate German sex
tourists and pedophiles operating in Thailand. The goal is
to facilitate prosecution of perpetrators in Thailand, as
well as in Germany. According to BKA reports, Thai
authorities, working with BKA officials, conducted a raid in
the red light district of Pattaya in Thailand in December
2006. They arrested six persons, including one German
national, on charges of sexual abuse of minors. The BKA
conducted subsequent investigations in Germany to build a
case to permit prosecutors from the German city of Giessen to
pursue charges against sex tourists in Germany as well.

3. In cooperation with the BKA and prosecutors in the German
city of Giessen, a second German national was arrested March
8 in Pattaya, Thailand on charges of sexually abusing a
minor. German law enforcement officials view the recent
arrests as the first major successes of their efforts to
improve cooperation with Thai officials. In a press
statement, BKA President Joerg Ziercke said the joint
investigations send a clear signal to German child sex
tourists that Germany will go after them in Thailand and
Germany.

4. German cooperation facilitated the successful prosecution
of two Germans convicted in a Cambodian court on charges of
sexual abuse of minors. The two Germans were sentenced,
respectively, to 28 years in prison and 12 years in prison on
March 9. The BKA reportedly assisted in the investigation by
retrieving erased evidence on the defendants' computers,
which showed photos of the Germans abusing the children. In
another case featured in German media, a German citizen
arrested in Cambodia in February on charges of sexual abuse
of children has since been extradited to Kiel, Germany to
stand trial.

5. On March 8, Berlin police, in cooperation with the Berlin
prosecutor's office, arrested a Vietnamese couple in Berlin
suspected of alien smuggling and trafficking for purposes of
labor exploitation. The couple is accused of holding
Vietnamese women in peonage. One of the women had been held
for six months and forced to work as a domestic servant in
order to pay off a "smuggling fee" of 9,000 euros.
KOENIG

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