Man deported over Net sex sneaks back into Cambodia

2000-08-09 16:06

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Cambodian police are searching for an American who recently sneaked back into the country after being deported for setting up an interactive Internet sex site, police said on Wednesday.

Dan Sandler, who is on a Cambodian blacklist, used a new passport to enter from Thailand, said Sovan Bopta, an immigration policeman.

Sandler, from Ashland, Oregon, was arrested in Phnom Penh on October 21, 1999, for running a website that featured local prostitutes in sexual bondage. At the time, he told The Associated Press the site was his attempt to bring Cambodia's sex industry to a worldwide market.

He spent 17 days in detention before he was deported with his computer equipment and barred from re-entering.

It was not known when he came back or where he is now in Cambodia. But police are looking for Sandler and he will be deported if caught, So Vandy, deputy chief of Phnom Penh's police foreign department, said.

After coming back, Sandler stayed for three days last month at a hotel opposite the police station where he was detained last year, said Bopta, the immigration policeman.

He said Sandler even visited the police station in late July but was not arrested. It was not clear why.

"We know Sandler very well. We are the men who arrested him and sent him out of the country. But this time he came up with his new passport. We just do not know what has been happening," Bopta said.

In an interview on Tuesday, Sandler told the Cambodia Daily newspaper that the Web site he set up had been a misguided attempt to make money and now he wanted to develop a computer business locally.

"I just want to live here in Cambodia," he was quoted as saying. "I'm very obsessed with this country. I just feel like I belong here."

You Oy, secretary of state of the Ministry of Women's Affairs said Sandler had discredited Cambodian women and the ministry was urging his immediate deportation.

The US Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Ambassador Kent Wiedemann was quoted by the Daily as saying it was up to the Cambodian government to decide whether to let him remain in the country.