Aust-NZ pedophile arrested in Thailand

  • 10/12/2015
(File)
(File)

A 59-year-old Australian teacher, holding dual New Zealand travel documents, has been arrested in north eastern Thailand on suspicion of child sex offences.

Peter Dundas Walbran, from Sydney, was detained on Wednesday (local time) at his apartment in the north eastern town of Ubon Rathchathani, 614 kilometres from Bangkok where he has been teaching at a local international school.

Walbran, a former head of the Australian International School in Jakarta, had been jailed by Indonesian authorities in 2012 over the rape and molestation of Indonesian boys, some under the age of 10.

Thai police investigators told NZ Newswire Walbran was being held by Thai immigration police pending investigations over whether he committed sex offences while living in Thailand.

The raid on the apartment came soon after new Thai legislation had come into force criminalising the possession of child abuse material, with offenders facing up to 10 years in jail.

Fairfax media reported a Melbourne investigator, Glen Hulley, had tracked Walbran to the provincial school where he had worked as a teacher overseeing children aged 12 to 17 years of age over the past eight months.

Reports said Walbran had been suspended from the Australian International School in Jakarta in March 2007 after police launched investigations for child sex offences outside the school.

In October 2011, Walbran was extradited to Indonesia from Australia following a request by Jakarta's Law and Human Rights Ministry. He served two years of a three-year jail term in Lombok before being deported to Australia in April last year.

Investigators told NZ Newswire Walbran failed to complete the process of registration with Australia's National Child Offender Register before departing Australia using a New Zealand passport.

Walbran travelled to Thailand from New Zealand which enabled him to avoid Australian travel alerts for convicted pedophiles.

Thai authorities said Walbran's visa had now been cancelled and if Thai investigations failed to uncover any local offences he would be deported back to New Zealand.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the reports of Walbran's arrest and the embassy in Bangkok is following up.

NZN