Dutch man arrested on child sex abuse charges at Thai beach resort town
BANGKOK (AP): A 60-year-old Dutch man suspected of sexually abusing at least three boys has been arrested at a Thai beach resort town, police said Tuesday.
Willem Knoppien was arrested Monday at his home in Hua Hin, south of the capital, Bangkok, and charged with the rape and illegal detention of a 13-year-old boy, said police Maj. Nawat Kularaton, who said authorities acted on a tip from the Dutch Embassy.
Police believe he abused at least two others, Nawat said.
A Thai man was also arrested and charged with procuring boys for Knoppien, he said.
An embassy official declined to comment, saying he was obliged to protect the privacy of Dutch citizens.
Willem Knoppien was detained pending trial. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Several Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are popular with pedophiles due to lax law enforcement, corruption in the justice system and poverty that forces children into prostitution.
A number of high-profile suspects have been caught in Thailand, including Christopher Paul Neil of Canada. He was arrested in October after a global Interpol manhunt sparked by some 200 Internet photos showing his suspected abuse of Vietnamese and Cambodian boys.