BANGKOK, Thailand — A Canadian schoolteacher suspected of pedophilia was arrested today in northeastern Thailand after an international manhunt that included the release of his unscrambled Internet photos to the public.
The suspect, 32-year-old Christopher Paul Neil, was hiding in the town of a Thai friend who police believe may have arranged some of his alleged sexual liaisons with young boys.
"Bingo! We've got him," police Maj. Gen. Wimol Powintara told The Associated Press.
Neil was arrested in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima and was being driven to Bangkok, about 130 miles away, Wimol said. Wimol declined to give details of the arrest, saying a news conference would be held in Bangkok later in the day.
Shortly before the arrest, Wimol told the AP that police rushed to the northeastern province Thursday night after receiving credible information that Neil had fled there.
Residents said they had spotted the Canadian near the home of a Thai man who police say had helped Neil to meet young boys in the past, Wimol said.
Thai authorities issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Neil after determining that he may have sexually abused boys in Thailand, in addition to the dozen Cambodian and Vietnamese boys, some as young as 6, whom Interpol suspects he abused.
The hunt for Neil began three years ago when German police discovered about 200 online photographs of a man sexually abusing children. His face was digitally obscured, but German police were able to reconstruct a recognizable image, and Interpol circulated those images last week.