Pizzagate and the Western Pedophiles Lurking in Southeast Asia

What we should take from the alleged story taking over the internet

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From Thailawforum

There has been a major shift in attention from the U.S election and all the controversies that it brought with it to something inherently more disturbing- the discovery of what could perhaps be the most prolific child sex abuse scandal among the Democratic Party leaders.

The Pizzagate theory has taken the internet by storm and has left behind a trail of unanswered questions and searing coincidences. The alleged claims of child sexual abuse and other depravities that the upper echelon of politics are said to have taken part in has resulted in an undeclared war between conspiracy theorists and the major media websites along with those that claim pizzagate is an attempt by right wing fanatics to destabilize the Democratic Party.

Although it can neither be confirmed nor denied, pizzagate has inadvertently shone a light on a topic of conversation that needs to be had and a growing unhealthy situation that needs to be dealt with.

Rumors of child sexual abuse among high standing members of society have not only rocked the U.S. but also the U.K. In 2014, 1400 suspects, among whom were British celebrities, members of parliament and institutions were being investigated by the police for suspected involvement in a major child sex abuse investigation. Going back as far as 1984, reports show that a large pedophile network consisting of top politicians surfaced but went unchecked with judges, law enforcement and even M15 agents blocking investigations.

If, in countries that are said to be the most developed in the world with top notch security and law enforcement, instances of child sex abuse go unchecked and pedophiles can roam free and hold positions of power, what then goes on in poorer and developing countries?

Pedophilia is rampant in Southeast Asian countries. The booming tourism industry has opened a gateway for pedophiles to roam lesser developed nations such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Child sex trade remains mostly unregulated in rural areas which have become a hub for pedophiles and sex offenders.

More often than not, registered sex offenders from western countries travel to Southeast Asia and prey on children hailing from poor backgrounds with little or no education. A study conducted by an Australian government funded initiative called Project Childhood on child sex abuse in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia found that both adults and children in these countries “had limited understanding of child abuse and child rights.” They “understood child sexual abuse simply as the penetrative rape of girls.”

The report also stated that “many adults and children appeared to lack a sufficient understanding of child sexual abuse and practical ways to identify, prevent or respond to it.”

Hence these individuals become high risk targets for traveling pedophiles. With the number of tourists that shuffle to and from Southeast Asia, it is unsurprising that a small percentage of those tourists are child sex offenders.

One such offender was Bryan Wright, a U.S citizen from Rhode Island who reportedly fled to Thailand in 1995 after being suspected of sexually assaulting a minor in his hometown. He set up an Immigration Law firm in Pattaya and claimed to have gotten fiancée visas set up for high ranking U.S military men, police and lawyers. In 2014, he was found guilty of raping a 12 year girl in Thailand. He posted bail at ฿400,000 and law enforcement has not been able to track him down.

Perhaps a more shocking example is one revolving around former musician Gary Glitter who had been arrested in London for possession of child pornography and was charged with having sex with an underage girl. However, since the police had insufficient evidence he was never taken to court. After having served four months in jail, the disgraced rocker set his sights on Southeast Asia. He settled in Cambodia but after new allegations of child abuse he found his way to Vietnam. Glitter was eventually charged with the rape of two girls, aged 10 and 11 at Ho Chi Minh and sentenced to a mere 3 years in jail.

What seems to be the common theme in both stories is the attraction of Southeast Asia for sex offenders and pedophiles. Has Southeast Asia become a haven for these individuals?

Richard Huckle, a 30 year old British man who posed as an English teacher in a poor Malaysian community was recently handed 22 life sentences in a London court after he pleaded guilty to 71 child abuse offenses in Southeast Asia. He is believed to have raped up to 200 young victims in Malaysia and Cambodia, the youngest of whom was only 6 months old. He recorded his behavior online and wrote a guide for other pedophiles called “Pedophiles & Poverty: Child Lover Guide”. According to a report, Huckle claimed that the poor people trusted him because he was a white Englishman.

The number of western men arrested in Southeast Asia for child sexual abuse has become too many to count. The children that each of them exploited are in numbers that should not be allowed to exist.

However, the fact is that child exploitation does happen and much like the exposed U.K pedophile ring or the alleged Pizzagate pedophile network in the U.S, child sex abuse is profound and it portrays a sad reality of life: the rich and powerful preying on the weak and poor and oftentimes getting away with it.  This reality needs to change.

Read next: Pizzagate 2: Child Sex Abuse in Asia