Update on child educator

Just yesterday I posted a story about a search for child educator that was shown sexually abusing children on the internet - here is an update on that case:


[16 October 2007] An international manhunt has been launched after Thai police named a suspected pedophile as Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian.

Authorities in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are searching for Mr Neil, of British Columbia, who allegedly appears in 200 online images abusing boys.

He studied to become a priest and was a youth counselor before moving to Asia.

His younger brother, Matthew Neil, said his family was "in shock" and appealed for Mr Neil to turn himself in.

Interpol had appealed for public help after experts unscrambled digitally-swirled internet photos of the suspect.

It was the first time the international police agency had made a direct worldwide appeal for public information in a case.

Extradition order

Interpol said the suspect had flown from South Korea - where he was working as an English teacher - to Thailand last week.

Border guards in the three South-East Asian countries were on alert after the suspect arrived in Bangkok from the South Korean capital, Seoul, on a one-way, full-fare ticket last week, said Interpol officer Mick Moran, who is leading the manhunt.

The Canadian had given a false address on his Thai immigration form, he said.

Kim Scanlan, from the Toronto police child exploitation unit, said Mr Neil would be extradited to Canada upon his arrest.

Thai police believe the suspect is still in Thailand, Colonel Apichart Suribunya told Associated Press news agency.

They are also searching for children he allegedly abused and took photos of, said Interpol's chief in Thailand, Panaspong Sirawongse.

Mr Panaspong said Mr Neil had worked at an international school in Thailand between 2003 and 2004.

"There were three boys he had abused. One boy has been identified and is being sought, two others have not been identified," he said.

Interpol released a security camera image of the man arriving at Bangkok airport on 11 October.

"All the countries in this region have all been alerted - they're all on alert and they all have border controls in place in an effort to spot the movements of this man," Mr Moran said.

He added: "I have no doubt that he left Korea when he saw himself on the internet."

'Mother devastated'

Canada's CBC reported that Mr Neil studied to become a priest before leaving for Asia.

He also worked as a military chaplain and youth counselor for children aged between 12 and 18 from 1998 to 2000 at a cadet training centre in Nova Scotia, said Capt Hope Carr, a Canadian military spokesman.

No complaints about Mr Neil were received during that time, Capt Carr said.

Matthew Neil, 30, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) told his family of the allegations against his brother last week.

"My mother is devastated and the family is in shock," he said from the family home in Maple Ridge, in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

"We're co-operating with RCMP and Interpol. We're hoping this comes to a quick close."

Identity puzzle

Internet photographs of the suspect show him apparently abusing 12 boys in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The first pictures were found three years ago in Germany. They had been manipulated to disguise the man's face with a swirl pattern, but German computer specialists produced identifiable images that were posted on Interpol's website a week ago.

After an appeal for information, the suspect was identified by five different sources from three continents as a man teaching English at a school in South Korea, Interpol said.

Police then established his name, nationality, date of birth, passport number and current and previous places of work.


Now this seems to counter the last article we just wrote: this guy abused the trust he was given in working with children. It is these exceptions that make it so difficult.

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