Swede in Cambodia held for kidnapping

A Swedish man wanted by Interpol on charges of kidnapping his six-year-old daughter more than a year ago has been arrested in Cambodia, an interior ministry official said Thursday.

Swede in Cambodia held for kidnapping
Photo: Maria Elfversson

Torgeir Nordbo was arrested with his daughter Alicia Elfversson late Tuesday in the western town of Pursat, said Bith Kim Hong, head of the ministry’s anti-trafficking department.

Nordbo, 47, has been charged with kidnapping and abduction, he added. Cambodian police were working with Interpol and Swedish authorities to arrange his extradition.

“He confessed to us and said that he wanted his daughter to live with him, but that is illegal,” Bith Kim Hong said.

Alicia’s mother Maria Elfversson has accused her ex-husband of kidnapping the girl in June last year, when he took her on a vacation and never returned.

The mother had been granted custody of the child.

Elfversson accused Nordbo of disguising her daughter by dressing her in boy’s clothing and cutting her hair very short.

Steve Morris, executive director of the anti-human trafficking group Sisha, said Alicia was returned to her mother Wednesday night.

“Alicia said she’s very scared, looking very small and skinny,” he said.

“She is very good with her mother now. There was such an emotional talk between them.”

Cambodia, still recovering after decades of conflict which ended in 1998, has been trying to toughen its border controls and its migration laws to end its reputation as a haven for traffickers.