Tuesday, March 31, 2015

# 107 Questions for Thierry Darnaudet & Samleang Seila at APLE

Dear Thierry Darnaudet and Samleang Seila

The following, to be found on the APLE website in relation to the arrest of Hang Vibol (H.V.), invites comment:

“Phnom Penh, Cambodia – In response to the article posted in the Cambodia Daily on 7 March 2015, APLE would like to clarify some critical points.

H.V. was hired at APLE in 2003 due to his experience working in child rights and protection. At this time, he had a clean criminal record and seemed ideally suited for the role. During his tenure, H.V. was also running an orphanage. In 2004, he left APLE amicably to focus fully on his work in the orphanage. There were no suspicions at this time that he had ever abused a child.

Thierry Darnaudet did not make the initial complaint of sexual abuse against H.V., nor did he pressure anyone to do so. Two French individuals reported their suspicions to Friends International, First Step Cambodia, and MoSVY. Friends International later reported the case to MoSVY as well and requested for an investigation. In July 2014, MoSVY requested APLE’s assistance in corroborating the claims.

Given Hang Vibol’s accusation that you, Thierry, were guilty of sex crimes yourself, surely it must have occurred to you (and you, Samleang Seila) that there was a clear conflict of interest here. Not only should MoSVY have never asked APLE to investigate under the circumstances, APLE should not have accepted the task.

APLE then started a preliminary investigation to gather more information and determine possible abuse. Some days later, APLE identified an adolescent who had previously lived in the orphanage; the adolescent stated that H.V. had sexually abused him during that time.

Was the interview with this young man videotaped? Did a qualified professional conduct the interview? How many people were present at the interview and was there any independent observer who can verify that the young man was not coerced into saying what APLE wants to hear or offered a bribe to do so.

For many years now APLE has been accused of paying children and their families to make accusations of sexual abuse against men that APLE wishes to see convicted of sex crimes. The case of David Fletcher is the one I know best – one in which the alleged rape victim says she was not raped and in which the medical evidence says she was not raped. APLE’s credibility vis a vis the production of witnesses who bolster APLE’s case is zero.

APLE immediately reported this to the AHTJPD. At the request of the AHTJPD, APLE continued its investigation and two more adolescents, who had also previously lived in the orphanage, were identified; they stated H.V. had sexually abused them. The three identified adolescents also indicated that more children in the orphanage were being abused by H.V. At this point, APLE reported the case to AHTJPD again. As APLE is an NGO, our capacities were then focused on the welfare of the children inside the orphanage.

If APLE’S primary concern is the welfare of children why is it that on so many occasions APLE has allowed abuse of children to continue until such time as there is evidence of the abuse and cameras can be present to record the arrest of the abuser? Surely, if the protection of children was APLE’S top priority, APLE would prevent the abuse from happening!?

To this end, APLE supported both action by the AHTJPD to investigate and MoSVY to remove the children from a potentially harmful environment.

Between August 2014 and February 2015, the AHTJPD carried out an investigation and obtained further evidence in this case. The AHTJPD, assisted by APLE, re-interviewed the three aforementioned adolescents and interviewed four witnesses in the case.

According to the time line you have presented here, APLE believed that it had strong evidence of Hang Vibol’s guilt in July or August of 2014. Why did MoSVY not intervene at this point and request that Hang Vibol stand aside from his job whilst an investigation took place.

Given the seriousness of the allegations (a man running an orphanage sexually abusing children in it) why did it take APLE six months to interview the children in the orphanage?

Why did APLE inform the film crew (CAMBODIA’S CHILD PREDATORS) that it was conducting an investigation into Hang Vibol, in the midst of the investigation, and allow the film crew to film? In so doing, APLE compromised the investigation.

Were this second lot of interviews conducted by professionals and videotaped?

In addition, the AHTJPD and a DoSVY official conducted interviews with fourteen children, who were living at the orphanage. APLE was not present during these fourteen interviews and had no contact with any of these children in the past. Based on the four witness accounts and statements of sexual abuse made by the three adolescents and seven of the fourteen children, H.V. was arrested by the AHTJPD on 2nd March 2015.

According to the time line APLE has presented it took 8 months to interview less than 20 children whom MoSVY and APLE had reason to believe had been, were being or soon could be sexually abused by Hang Vibol? This proposition lacks all credibility.

There is no reason why all of these children could not have been interviewed in a week. The are very good reasons why they should have been interviewed within the shortest possible time frame.

Does APLE allege that any of the children were sexually abused between July 2014 and March 2015? If so, APLE has quite clearly NOT put the welfare of the children first and, indeed, has been complicit in their abuse.

The kindest observation that could be made about the way in which this matter has been handled is that APLE is staffed by incompetent amateurs.

In the wake of this, APLE continued to advocate for the closure of the orphanage and transfer of the children to safe places. MoSVY assessed the orphanage and decided to close it five days later. The children were either reunited with their families or placed in temporary care centers for assessment and counseling. We fully support this action and are grateful to the organisations that have offered to support these children. APLE is liaising with these partners to ensure suitable care and counseling.

Should the children choose to pursue legal action against H.V., APLE has offered legal counseling and representation to all victims; accepting this assistance is optional.

I wonder, Thierry Darnaudet and Samleang Seila, if either of you are familiar with the concept that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty? It seems not since APLE has already decided that the children involved in this case are ‘victims’.

Having decided on Hang Vibol’s guilt APLE now has a vested interest in seeing to it that the courts arrive at the same conclusion as APLE. In any other country in the world this case would be thrown out of court immediately on the grounds that all the evidence has been tainted by APLE’s incompetence.

APLE knows there is no conflict of interest in this case; however, we are aware and understanding that others may feel differently. As a result, APLE has contacted another child protection NGO to partner in the provision of legal representation, if the victims ask us to do so.

What is the name of the other child protection NGO?

H.V. was charged with Indecent Assault with Aggravating Circumstances. These charges are based on the AHTJPD’s police file. H.V. has accused Thierry Darnaudet of fabricating these claims out of revenge and APLE of acting on this; however, Thierry Darnaudet has no role or influence in APLE or its investigations. APLE is an independently run, local NGO, which takes allegations of child sexual abuse extremely seriously and would never participate in, encourage, or support a case it knew to be untrue.

If, as is claimed here, you have “no role or influence” Thierry, what is the nature of your relationship with APLE? Are you on the board? Do you receive a wage?

Please explain the following, to be found on Facebook:

Good evening, I am Mr Thierry Darnaudet, president of French NGO Action pour les Enfants, working against travelling sex offenders in Cambodia (www.aplecambodia.org).We often work with FBI and ICE to deport US sex offenders from Cambodia back to the US. We and OBB south Africa are launching a petition (ring the alarm) addressed to the Dutch Minister of justice to ban the pedophile Dutch group Martijn and any similar groups. We have 104 NGOs from 35 countries in our side already signed up already (http://ring-the-alarm.com/signatories/) and we are seeking the support of US based strong advocacy groups against sexual exploitation of children such as yours and others. Can you kindly have a look at http://ring-the-alarm.com/ and see if you can be a part of our effort not to have a Nambla similar group in Europ? I thank you in advance. Thierry Darnaudet.

Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and exploitation in Cambodia. Since 2003, APLE has partnered with local authorities to rescue children and bring perpetrators to legal account

As for the proposition that APLE does not pursue a case it knows to be untrue, this is palpable nonsense. You both know that David Fletcher did not rape Yang Dany. You have both known this since Sept 2010 when a doctor, in his report for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, declared her to be a virgin still. You have pursued David Fletcher since then, and pursue him still today, because APLE would lose what little credibility the NGO has if the courts were to acknowledge that David Fletvher could not have raped Yang Dany and that the whole case against him was fabricated by APLE – with a good deal of help from some others whom shall remain nameless for the time being.

We invite qualified parties to contact us if they would like to independently review our involvement in this case. APLE is committed to transparency and honesty; we conduct investigations to the best of our ability and remain ever-focused on protecting children.

Given your commitment to “transparency and honesty” Thierry Darnaudet and Samleang Seila, I am here taking you up on your invitation to “independently review” APLE’S “involvement in this case.”

I can be contacted at the following email address: jamesricketson@gmail.com


  1. It's hard to imagine APLE’S claims, with a Budget of nearly US $5 million, that it has to shut down Branch offices in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville and to lay off some of it's 55 Undercover staff.

    Some calculations:

    Country Director Samleang Seila annual salary estimated : US$ 250.000

    (2) APLE Undercover Agents 55 x 1.000 USD/Month = annual US$ 660.000

    (3) APLE other Staff estimated annually : US$ 50.000

    (4) Rent for Offices in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville,
    Poipet US$ 60.000

    (5)Hardware and Office Equipment : US$ 250.000

    (6) Communication Tel. Charges : US$ 40.000

    (7) Travel, Hotel, Meeting Expenses : US$ 300.000

    Total US$1.610.000

    Cars and Motorcycles have not been taken into consideration since most of the staff is apparently using their own vehicle which ranges from bicycle to Range Rover SUV.


Consider this figure against the 2011 Donations of approx. US$ 5.000.000 and you will see a huge discrepancy of US$ 3.390.000 USD !

    There is speculation of how much Thierry Darnaudet, CEO and Founder of APLE pockets out of this but it's evident that there should be no reason for closing offices and laying off staff.

    1. Well that's one baseless accusation if I've ever seen one!

      Where did you get these numbers? According to their 2013 annual report (available here: http://www.aplecambodia.org/images/2013%20Annual%20Report-medium%20resol.pdf), they have a budget of less than half a million. I think that's enough evidence to show you have no idea what you're talking about.

      Maybe you're confusing CCF with APLE?

    2. CCF in 2013, took in $10.6M, just in what gets reported on their US tax. They also have income streams from the UK, 2 from OZ and HK!!

    3. Your figures are indeed baseless and highly incorrect.

      From various sources we can say that APLE's annual budget is between $450.000 and $600.000.

      The reason why APLE was almost forced to shut down some offices was because of an unexpected cutoff of funding from main sponsor Terre des Hommes Netherlands. This was a result of the fact that Terre des Hommes themselves were enduring a major cutoff of funding from the Dutch government during the financial crisis in Europe. Terre des Hommes was later able to obtain funds from other sources and continued funding APLE Cambodia and is now even able to expand APLE's dubious concept to 4 other countries under the name Project WATCH.

      On the other hand, attempts to open activities in Battambang failed more than once and according to APLE as a result of a lack of funds. In realilty, the attempts to open a Battambang branch failed because the Provincial Court didn't accept any cases from APLE anymore after the court had been lied to by APLE too many times. Now their recently reopened Battambang branch only does 'Awareness Sessions'.

      Please check your facts and stick to the facts. APLE is evil, but we need facts and evidence to bring them down!

  2. I believe we have witnessed a heinous game between Thierry Darnaudet's APLE and Sebastien Marot's childsafe-cambodia.org.

    It seems Marot was simply used as a proxy to get the ball rolling and have Hang Vibol arrested. He willingly played along with Darnaudet's plan to get Vibol jailed. That’s evident to me after reading aplecambodia.org note on the subject.

    This kind of "no it wasn’t me" game is played by politicians around the world. The US government in particular has used proxy tools to export their many wars around the world.

    In all that mess one should never forget who started this kind of business in the first place and not let him off the hook, ever: Thierry Darnaudet who should pay and be punished for all the misery he has created for so many men and children.

  3. "We invite qualified parties to contact us if they would like to independently review our involvement in this case."

    Haha! James, do you think you're on APLE's list of "Qualified Parties"?

    Or can "Qualified Parties" only be NGOs that have proven to keep silent when it comes to the misconduct of other NGOs in order to keep the "All NGOs are good" myth alive?

  4. No, I am most definitely NOT on APLE'S list of 'qualified parties'.

    I hope that the Cambodia Daily and Phnom Penh Post are considered 'qualified parties'.

    I hope also that various 'partners' of APLE, like LICADHO, might not only be considered 'qualified' but might actually go to the trouble of asking some of the questions I have asked.

    Let's just say that it turns out that Hang Vibol was sexually abusing children - as APLE claims it has had evidence of since July 2014. Why did it take APLE 8 months to interview (it seems) around 20 kids before closing the 'orphanage' down under circumstances guaranteed to garner maximum media coverage?

    If Hang Vibol was sexually abusing kids from July 2014 to March 2016, what does this say about APLE's commitment to preventing sexual abuse and protecting children?

    How on earth can a human rights organisation like LICADHO partner with such an incompetent NGO and, in so doing, provide it with an imprimatur it does not deserve?

    1. The Post, The Daily and Licadho are most definitely on APLE's trusted partner list!

      The Post and The Daily for the excellent copy&paste jobs from APLE's press releases over the past decade and for never asking too difficult questions to Seila Samleang.

      Of course Licadho is also on APLE's cuddle list because of their absolute silence. Licadho president Pung Kek has raised her concerns about APLE's involvement in the Hang Vibol case, but then again, "Raising Concerns" (once) is all Licadho seems to do about things.

  5. Letting a suicidal man like Thierry Darnaudet run a Home for Children is taking a huge risk - as we know now after the last suicide candidate decided to take 150 innocent people with him while crashing his plane into a mountain side.

    Since 2007 nobody has seriously asked the questions necessary of Darnaudet. Is this the kind of character, obsessed with children above all, to let loose on orphaned kids ?? The 2400 NGO and many western Governments like the UK and US think: YES !!

    Perversion in Perfection.

    1. Thierry Darnaudet is not only suicidal, he's also a severe alcoholic and an alleged child abuser!

      The allegations of Darnaudet's child (sexual) abuse don't come falling from the sky. Former APLE country directors Kahterine Kaene and Hang Vibol both knew about it. They both resigned because they couldn't live with the lies they were ordered to sell by Darnaudet.

      Current country director Seila Samleang doesn't seem to have any problems with lies, because at the end it's all for the Good Cause . . . His own personal career ! ! ! Seila Samleang is the type of Khmer that loves The Abroad Opportunities. He loves to takes selfies in front of the UN building in New York or at a meeting with some very important people. All he cares about is to grow, grow, grow his NGO and his career.

      We've learned that Thierry Darnaudet is no longer officially involved in APLE. The NGO is now fully owned by Seila Samleang. Owned, you say?? Yes, owned! In Cambodia an NGO has an owner! Of course you can appoint a few nephews and nieces as members of the Board of Directors, but they cannot vote you out, while you as founder/president can fire them all ! ! ! Full Power = Grow, Grow, Grow... The Cambodian Dream ! ! !

      This fact alone makes that such NGO's should not be involved in anything related to children, because the interest of the children will always come after the personal interest of the owner!

  6. Mr Fletcher is no longer in danger of dying. He is not well, however, and remains in hospital.

    The British Embassy in Cambodia is taking no interest at all in his well-being.

    I am trying, through direct appeals to the Minister of Justice, to secure the earliest possible trial for Mr Fletcher. My latest letter to the Minister:

    Mr Ang Vong Vathana
    Minister of Justice
    Samdech Sothearos Road
    Sangkat Chaktomouk
    Daun Penh

    1st April 2015

    Dear Mr Ang Vong Vathana

    re David John Fletcher

    Contrary to the doctors’ expectations, David Fletcher is not going to die. At least not in the near future.

    However, Mr Fletcher does have a serious pulmonary infection that requires treatment in hospital. It may be tuberculosis. The doctors are not sure just now.

    It is not appropriate that a sick 70 year old man be returned to jail, where there will be no proper treatment available to him – especially not a man who, on the basis of the evidence available, cannot possibly be guilty of the crime he has been charged with - rape.

    I would like to suggest that Mr Fletcher be released on bail and allowed to receive the treatment he requires to be returned to full health.

    I will post the bail for Mr Fletcher. I know him to be an honourable man who will not breach whatever bail conditions are imposed on him. I do not have any fear at all that I will, as a result of a breach, lose my bail money.

    Mr Fletcher is determined to prove his innocence in a properly constituted court of law – on the basis of the clear evidence of his innocence. If Action Pour les Enfants, CEOP, SISHA, the British Embassy or Naly Pilorge of LICADHO have evidence of Mr Fletcher’s guilt let them present it to the court.

    Given that Mr Fletcher has been provided none of the legal rights due to him in accordance with the Cambodian Code of Criminal Procedure and has, as a result, spent close to five years in jail without once being interviewed by police or an investigating judge, without being able to present any defense in court, I believe that his release on bail is the only just path open to the Cambodian judiciary.

    yours sincerely

    James Ricketson

  7. Well dont you look like the fool once again. Telling everyone he is close to death, ranting and raving at how tragic this all is, only to now tell us that it was, like most of Fletchers antics, another theatrical stage show, put together to get some more blog comments on your ridiculous blog site.

    Credibility has just gone to minus 7. Great effort Ricketson!

    1. Dear Anonymous 12.04

      You really are a very unpleasant person, aren't you? It must be very difficult to live with yourself day in, day out, always on the lookout for any opportunity that avails itself to be negative and to make comments designed to be as hurtful as possible.

      For this to have been, as you describe it, "another theatrical stage show" Mr Fletcher would have had to fake a coma for 8 days and somehow, in the process, fool the life support systems he was hooked into and the doctors trying to save his life.

      Mr Fletcher is not out of the woods yet, though it certainly seems that he will live. ANd this will bring to the fore again the question of his right to a fair trial. Let me ask you a simple question - to which you only need to answer with a single word: "Yes" or "No".

  8. According to the whisper on the grape vine Thierry Darnaudet and Samleang Seila with some Help of the US Government Agency ICE are preparing to destroy your reputation mr. ricketson.

    What you may face if the allegations are true is something like this:


    perhaps one should be prepared with equally artistic constructions of truth ?

    1. I checked out this website and can only laugh!

      The notion that anyone would go to so much trouble to discredit strikes me as being the stuff of fiction. On the other hand, who knows in this new digital age – a world that I don’t pretend to understand all that well!

      Some strange things happen from time to time on this blog (comments and entire blog entries disappearing) and it has seemed to me at times that someone was responsible. On reflection, however, I decided that it must be just one of those ‘shit happens’ occurrences that occur online.

      On further reflection, however, I do wonder…

      For instance, take the list of things that this website describes as possible ways of discrediting a blogger:

      “Set up a honey trap”

      There was a time, a few months back when I started advocating David Fletcher’s right to a fair trial, when I had several young Cambodian women wanting to be my ‘friend’. There were a few that were, supposedly, ‘friends’ of Facebook friends of mine so I said ‘yes’ to their wanting to be my ‘friend’ without really thinking.

      At first, at least. After acquiring a few such ‘friends’ I stopped. The few that I had allowed as ‘friends’ tried to chat with me but I was quite curt with them – as would be apparent to anyone who had hacked into my Facebook account and was following my dialogues.

      So, was there a half-hearted attempt to set me up in a honey trap? I have no idea but it is odd that a few young women (late teens by their photos) should suddenly want to be ‘friends’ with me. And now, not!

      “Change their photos on social networking sites”

      To the best of my knowledge no photos I have posted have been changed but here is a strange thing:

      Facebook will not allow me to post a blog entry that has a photo of Thierry Darnaudet in it!

      I thought that this was just one of those ‘shit happens’ things but, after 3 days of trying, I am now wondering if it is possible for Darnaudet (or anyone else) to notify Facebook or Google or any other site NOT to allow photos of themselves to be published?

      If it is possible, it must cost money. I wonder how much?

      If anyone knows the answer to this question, please let me know. I am a self-confessed Luddite when it comes to the internet; what is possible and what is not possible.

      “Write a blog purporting to be one of their victims”

      Hasn’t happened to the best of my knowledge.

      “Email/text their colleagues, neighbours, friends etc.”

      Hasn’t happened to the best of my knowledge.

    2. 6:02, if this were to be true it only proves that APLE perfectly fits the profile of a real mafia organisation.

      It's a typical mafia mentality to try and eliminate whistle-blowers and others who criticize and/or expose the true nature of the organisation.

      The mafia also uses politicians, judges and police to cover up their criminal activities.

    3. Don't believe for a second that this is "shit happens" stuff. Darnaudet blocked tpf-cambodia.com in France when he was reported by APLE victim David Makhout.

      Darnaudet managed to get all but 1 picture of him removed from the google search engine. Google kept the 1 just to see what ip adress (computer / iphone) would click on it so they can identify the interest in the "real darnaudet" because there is another one by the same name who is engaged in sports and music but has nothing to do with the one representing Aple.

      Most people lack the awareness of what's going on around them, for good reasons. If they did know, they would know that they had good reasons to feel paranoid. Therefore it's difficult to find anyone that would listen to the aple - david fletcher - ngo stories. People don't even want to think about children and them. They prefer to think of something else and will label you as mad if you continue to alert them on the issue.

    4. I did eventually manage to publish a photo of Darnaudet on Facebook so it looks as though my inability to do so for a few days does fall into the 'shit happens' category. I also found several photos of Darnaudet on the internet so he has not managed to get Google to remove them all.

  9. James, I looks like maybe you've made APLE's list after all!!

    1. What list are you referring to?

    2. Probably the "Peolpe-who're-in-the-Way-of-My-Personal-Career" list.

      Scott Neeson also has such a list. I bet you're on his list too!

    3. Please dont Ricketson any credit - he isn't going to ruin anyones career. Especially not the careers of some of the people he thinks are fabricating evidence against Fletcher. The only career he has ruined is his own, hence why is now a nuisance blogger. Just ask some of the Australian film groups about Ricketson - he will never work in film in Australia again.

    4. Dear Anonymous 8.53

      The objective of this blog is not to destroy anyone's career. Right from the outset it has been to do all I could to secure for David Fletcher his right, under Cambodian law,to a fair trial. Yes, it has grown from that initial basic premise and it does seem, on the basis of a mass of evidence, that there are a few 'careers' that should, in the interests of justice, be 'ruined'. I am referring to those who exploit the poverty of the Cambodian people and the judicial system to achieve their own goals - monetary gain.

      On the question of 'fabricating evidence', how would you describe the process whereby a young woman who insists that she was not raped and who remained a virgin despite the alleged rapes is presented as the key witness for the prosecution in a rape case? What words do you use to describe the process whereby the NGO so determined NOT to see David Fletcher get a fair trial, arranges for this key witness to be spirited out of Cambodia, to China, so that she is not available for cross-examination in court and is not available to speak with the media about the rapes that did not occur?

      Yes, to those who are being exposed as frauds, liars and criminals, I have no doubt I am a nuisance. This is true for any journalist, blogger or filmmaker who shines some light on the activities of corrupt individuals and institutions that prefer to be able to practice their dark nefarious arts as far removed as possible from public scrutiny.

      As for my film career, I am working on more film projects than I have time for.

  10. Seems the pigs who have their noses deep in slush funds of Neesons donor millions are the only ones making adverse comments here.

  11. The so called victim of David Fletcher is now in China WFT . Has there been any word from this girl or her family of her location. l fear she would most likely be in some chinese brothel . What happened to these NGO's such as the director of Cambodian Childrens Fund and news reports claiming he had saved her. just another fraud masterminded by criminals such as Neeson.
    How about these people get out from under there rocks and explain how a young girl in their care ended in China . Human Trafficking creeps like Neeson need to get around Phnom Penh with a body guard.

    Pete Syd

  12. No word from the girl or her family because they have stopped talking or corresponding with Ricketson due to the fact that they have worked out that Ricketson's motive is really to sexually abuse of their underage daughter.

    1. sounds like your most likely one of those banked rolled by a NGO . crawl back under your rock.
      Bill PP

  13. Dear Anonymous 1.54

    Yang Dany was born on 06 July 1992, which makes her 22 years old, almost 23. She is definitely no longer an 'underage daughter'!

    You are clearly one of those (and there seem to be quite a few) who are not going to let any facts prevent you from leaping to whatever conclusion you wish.

  14. That Scott Neeson is one big tosser . Public Figure on Facebook or like Public Fiddler .