October 17th, 2007 01:51 EST
INTERPOL has confirmed Thai and Cambodian identification of Christopher Paul Neil as Vico
LYON, France – INTERPOL has confirmed the Thai and Cambodian identification of Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old English teacher from Canada, as the man photographed sexually abusing young children in Southeast Asia in images posted on the Internet.
Neil was last seen at Bangkok’s international airport on 11 October arriving on a flight from South Korea, where he had been working. Security cameras documented his arrival at immigration at 15h26.
A specialised officer from the INTERPOL General Secretariat, working from the INTERPOL Liaison Office in Bangkok, is assisting police in Thailand and neighbouring countries with the collection and analysis of evidence for the issue of an arrest warrant.
‘Thailand is at the centre of an international manhunt, and authorities in the country, in co-operation with INTERPOL and police around the world, are hunting him down,’ said Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
‘The response and contribution we have had from the public has been remarkable, as has the support from the media, which has enabled officers in our specialised unit, our office in Bangkok and police in other member countries to make such remarkable progress in such a short space of time.
‘We must once again enlist the public’s support, this time to pinpoint his current location.’
More than 350 people contacted INTERPOL in response to its worldwide appeal for assistance with the operation, codenamed ‘Vico’, when it became clear that without the public’s help, the man pictured sexually abusing 12 different young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia in a series of around 200 images could otherwise not be identified.
Within three days of the appeal, working with its National Central Bureaus around the world, INTERPOL was able to obtain Neil’s name, nationality, date of birth, passport number, and current and previous places of work.
‘This case clearly underlines the central role which could only be achieved by INTERPOL with its network of 186 member countries, and also highlights the giant step forward in global communications among INTERPOL members,’ added Secretary General Noble.
Anyone with information on Neil’s current whereabouts is asked to contact their local police or INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings Unit via email.
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