BANGKOK, Thailand &
A worldwide manhunt for an alleged pedophile centered Tuesday on Thailand, where authorities identified the suspect as a 32-year-old Canadian teacher who flew into Bangkok on a one-way ticket and was still at large.
Neighboring Southeast Asian countries placed border guards on alert for Christopher Paul Neil, described as the man whose digitally blurred image appeared in Internet photos showing sexual abuse of boys.
Authorities say he arrived in Thailand from South Korea, where he taught English. His arrival at Bangkok's international airport Thursday was caught on camera at the immigration counter.
Authorities said the man was shown in some 200 Internet photos abusing young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia. His face, however, was masked by a digitalized blur. German police managed to recreate an image of him, and four reconstructed photos were released to the public.
The Interpol agent in charge of the case, Mick Moran, said the suspect had taught in Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea and entered Thailand last week on a one-way, full-fare ticket from Seoul. He entered a false hotel on his Thai immigration form, Moran said.
"I have no doubt that he left Korea when he saw himself on the Internet," Moran said.
"Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand &
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," said Moran, who arrived in Bangkok over the weekend to coordinate the manhunt. He appealed to the suspect to surrender "to have the matter sorted out in a reasonable and adult manner."
The international police organization issued an unusual global appeal for help in identifying and tracing the suspect on Oct. 8.
On Monday, after receiving hundreds of tips, Interpol announced it had identified the suspect. Thai and Cambodian police revealed the man's name, age and nationality Tuesday.
"We believe he is still in Thailand and we are now collecting information from neighboring countries where he committed crimes of pedophilia so we can issue an arrest warrant for him," Thai police Col. Apichart Suribunya told The Associated Press.
Kim Scanlan of the Toronto police child exploitation unit said he will be extradited to Canada once he's arrested.
"The paperwork has been put place for that to happen," Scanlan said. "We have travel and sex offender offenses so he'll be prosecuted in Canada."
Scanlan said the unit has been trying to learn his identity and where the abuse was taking place for the last couple of years. Police learned he was Canadian after releasing his photo.
Toronto's acclaimed child exploitation unit tries to figure out the identity and whereabouts of suspected pedophiles regardless of nationality.
Investigators have been hunting the man in the photos for three years, since German police discovered online photographs of him abusing underage Asian boys. He was allegedly shown sexually abusing 12 young Vietnamese and Cambodian boys, apparently ranging in age from 6 to early teens.
Interpol said that more than 350 people supplied tips to authorities worldwide. Officials are still collecting and analyzing evidence to bring charges if the man is arrested, it said.
Cambodian police have "alerted all border checkpoints" to the man's identity, acting on a request from Interpol, said Keo Vanthan, a senior police official in charge of Cambodia's Interpol division. He said police were investigating whether the suspect had previously entered Cambodia.
The case marks the latest high-profile pedophile manhunt for Thailand.
John Mark Karr, who confessed to killing 6-year-old American beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was arrested in Bangkok last year only to be freed for lack of evidence.
Like the current suspect, Karr worked as an English teacher in Bangkok and in South Korea, among other places.
Associated Press writers Ambika Ahuja and Sutin Wannabovorn in Bangkok and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
Canadian teacher sought in Interpol pedophile manhunt
BANGKOK, Thailand &