British Columbia

Vancouver man faces child sex charges in Cambodia

A 69-year-old Vancouver man is being held in Cambodia on child prostitution charges.
Vijai Kumar caught in hotel room with a 14-year-old 2:09

A 69-year-old Vancouver man is being held in Cambodia on child prostitution charges.

Local media ran pictures of police arresting Vijai Kumar in his hotel room on Friday in Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia.

He was allegedly found with pornographic DVDs and books, boxes of erectile dysfunction medication, and according to one report, a naked 14-year-old girl cowering in the bathroom.

Shanti, his wife of 47 years, told CBC News she is shocked by the charges against her husband, but says this isn't the first time he has taken extended trips to Asia alone.

"Every year, he goes to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and... Laos," she said.

His wife says he was supposed return home tonight after his latest three-month trip to Cambodia.

Kumar was likely monitored by Action Pour Les Enfants, a group that gathers evidence of suspects' movements and presents it to police, said former RCMP forensic scientist Brian McConaghy.

Not much is known about the alleged victim, but McConaghy said the level of abuse can vary.

"If she's been in the system since she was six, then it's going to translate into thousands of sexual assaults. It depends on the individual child and when they were sold and to whom," said McConaghy, who now runs a foundation, Ratanak International, which rehabilitates children caught in the sex trade.

The allegations against Kumar have not been proven in court, and no charges have been filed against him in Canada.

Two other pedophiles who were convicted overseas have now returned to B.C. after serving their sentences.

Donald Bakker was the first to be convicted under Canada's sex tourism law. He abused seven Cambodian girls, one aged seven.

Christopher Neil spent five years in a Thai prison for abusing boys. He returned last October.

With files from the CBC's Kirk Williams