Alleged Australian paedophile deported to NZ

  • 18/12/2015
(File)
(File)

By Ron Corben

A 59-year old Australian teacher with dual New Zealand citizenship is to be deported from Thailand following his arrest in the country's north on suspicion of child sex offences.

Peter Dundas Walbran, originally from Sydney, has been held in immigration detention cells in Bangkok since his December 9 arrest in the northeastern town of Ubon Ratchthani, 600 kilometres away, where he taught at a local international school.

Investigators say the deportation is expected to take place late on Friday as Thai police re-examine some of the digital media recovered from his apartment on the day of his arrest.

If they find anything illegal on his computer hard drive, they could have him extradited from New Zealand. But so far they haven't found anything incriminating that would lead to charges in Thailand.

Walbran, a former head of the Australian International School in Jakarta, was jailed in Indonesia in 2012 and served two years of a three-year jail term for the rape and molestation of Indonesian boys, some under the age of 10.

He was deported to Australia in April 2014.

Investigators say Walbran failed to complete the registration process with Australia's National Child Offender Register before leaving the country using a New Zealand passport.

Walbran travelled to Thailand earlier this year using his New Zealand passport, enabling him to avoid Australian travel alerts for convicted pedophiles.

A Melbourne investigator, Glen Hulley, tracked Walbran to the Thai provincial international school where he had been working for the past eight months, overseeing children aged 12 to 17.

Walbran's arrest led to Thailand's Office of Basic Education Commission urging all school directors to step up checks on the criminal backgrounds of foreign teachers.

A department official said an investigation was planned into the school where Walbran had worked to determine whether the board had conducted the necessary background checks.

If the school did not conduct the required screening process, it could face disciplinary action, the official said.

NZN