|An undated photo of Christopher Paul Neil taken from the Interpol web site on October 16, 2007.
A pedophile who spent the last five years in a Thai jail cell for sexually abusing children in that country was arrested as he stepped off a plane in Vancouver Friday night.
Christopher Paul Neil, 37, a former B.C. teacher, had a bail hearing on Saturday morning and will appear before a judge on Monday to assess his release or impose any conditions.
The RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation unit obtained an arrest warrant for Neil under Section 810.1 (1) of the Criminal Code, alleging his actions cause fear of sexual offences to person under the age of 16.
Neil was the focus of a global hunt that ended in rural Thailand in October 2007. He was charged with molesting underage children after being tracked through his boyfriend's phone. He was also accused of raping young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia after being unmasked by nifty police computer work and hunted in a unique Internet appeal.
"From pictures on the Internet, there were five to seven children under age 10 who have been abused by him, including one girl," Deputy National Police Chief Wongkot Maneerin told a packed news conference in Bangkok when Neil was arrested.
Neil was no stranger to Thailand, having once taught in a Bangkok language school, but his hiding place was revealed by a trace on the mobile phone of his 25-year-old Thai boyfriend, identified by transvestites in the seedy beach town of Pattaya.
Detectives in various countries had been trying to track Neil down since German police discovered photographs on the Internet three years ago of a man sexually abusing 12 boys in Vietnam and Cambodia.
His face had been scrambled with a digital swirling pattern, but German police computer experts managed to unravel the "Swirly Face" disguise and Interpol issued an unprecedented worldwide appeal through the Internet for information on who the man was.
- With files from Reuters