Pedophile caught in Thailand
Posted by shadmia on October 20, 2007
Christopher Paul Neil, 32, was arrested by Thai police just 8 days after entering the country on a flight from Seoul, South Korea. He is accused of sexually abusing dozens of Asian boys, aged 6 to 12 years old, mostly from Cambodia and Vietnam. His capture was the result of an unprecedented appeal from Interpol to the public seeking to determine his identity.
It was three years ago that German police came across about two hundred internet photos of a man abusing young Asian boys. His face had been digitally altered to hide his identity. Recently they were able to reverse engineer the pictures to uncover his face. His photo was then published around the world by Interpol asking for help in finding out who he was. With the help of hundreds of tips from people they were able to identify him as Christopher Paul Neil, 32, a Canadian who taught at schools in at least three Asian countries — South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Before teaching, he had worked as a chaplain in Canada, counseling teens.
Neil was caught on camera at the immigration counter at Bangkok’s international airport. The Thai police began searching for him and tracked him to a house in Nakhon Ratchasima province that he shared with a Thai transvestite friend whose phone calls were traced by authorities. Neil surrendered peacefully.
“I think he knew we were coming,” said police Col. Paisal Luesomboon, who was on the five-member police team that made the arrest. “He knew that there was an arrest warrant issued and that his face was posted everywhere.”
Neil was charged with detention of a child under 15 without parental consent, punishable by up to three years in prison; taking a child under 15 from his parents without consent, punishable by five to 20 years; and sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years.
A judge in the Bangkok Criminal Court signed a police order Saturday to extend his detention to 12 days, and could move later to keep him behind bars up to 84 days. After the brief hearing, Neil was incarcerated at the Bangkok Remand Prison. Maj. Gen. Wimol Pao-in, chief of division’s crimes against women and children said the investigation into the allegations could take a month and that a trial could start soon after.
Neil lived in Thailand from 2002 to early 2004, police said. Three Thai youths, aged 9, 13 and 14 at the time of their alleged abuse, contacted police after seeing Neil’s photograph on television, claiming he had paid them for oral sex in 2003. The boys said the suspect showed them pornographic images on his computer at his apartment in Bangkok, and paid them each $16 to $32.
The Canadians are also interested in Neil. Before teaching in Asia, Neil had worked as a chaplain in Canada, counseling teens. British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had Neil under investigation in Canada for complaints “involving young boys.” He did not elaborate. An RCMP spokeswoman, Constable Annie Linteau, said only that Neil was “a person of interest” but added that the force was asking Canadians with information on him to call the child-exploitation tip line. “The RCMP had received complaints here and so obviously we have an interest in what happens to him in Thailand,” Oppal said. Maj. Gen. Wongkot Maneerin, deputy national police chief said Neil would “definitely” be prosecuted in Thailand. “He will have to go to Thai court first. After the case is over, then we can send him,” he said.