Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Alleged pedophile sought


Thai police said yesterday that a suspected pedophile wanted by police around the world was a 32-year-old Canadian named Christopher Paul Neil who is believed to be in Thailand.

Cambodian authorities, meanwhile, said they had alerted all border checkpoints of the man's identity in case he tries to slip into the neighboring country.

Interpol, the international police organization, announced on Monday after issuing a global appeal for help that it had identified the man shown in about 200 Internet photos abusing young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Interpol did not reveal the man's name but said he was thought to be on the run in Thailand, where security cameras documented his arrival on Thursday at Thai immigration. He was said to be an English teacher in South Korea.

"We believe he is still in Thailand and we are collecting information from neighboring countries where he committed crimes of pedophilia so we can issue an arrest warrant for him," Thai police Colonel Apichart Suribunya said.

A Canadian Embassy spokesman declined to comment.

Investigators have been hunting the man for three years, since German police discovered online photographs of him abusing underage Asian boys.

The man was allegedly shown sexually abusing 12 young Vietnamese and Cambodian boys, apparently ranging in age from six to their early teens.

His face was initially disguised behind a digitalized swirl but German police recreated an image of him and released four reconstructed photos last week.

Interpol said that more than 350 people supplied tips to authorities worldwide. Officials are still collecting and analyzing evidence to bring charges against the man if he is arrested, it said.

"Thailand is at the center of an international manhunt, and authorities in the country, in cooperation with Interpol and police around the world, are hunting him down," Interpol chief Ronald Noble said on Monday.

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