Swiss man arrested on pedophilia charges

PHANG NGA (The Nation): A 53-year-old Swiss national, Bernhard Rudolf Hager, has been arrested and charged with pedophilia and illegal detention of three underage Thai boys, police said yesterday.

The arrest came after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation provided Thai police with a photo taken from the Internet, which showed a foreigner molesting young Thai boys, police said.

In the photo, the foreigner wore a T-shirt with the name of a dive shop in the Khao Lak area.

Hager initially confessed to the charges and, if convicted, would face up to 15 years in prison, police said.

Pol Maj Gen Kumronwit Toopkrajang, head of the Children’s and Women’s Welfare Division, said Hager has been charged with molesting three boys aged under 15.

“The FBI sent the picture to my office last month, and police spent about one month tracking him down,” Gen Kumronwit said.

Police also found the three boys pictured in the photo, and they confirmed that they had been molested, he added.

Gen Kumronwit said Hager’s modus operandi was to invite boys from poor families to stay with him and work at the dive shop, but during the night he would molest them and then give them 100 to 200 baht.

Police also confiscated pornographic materials from the suspect, including CDs and videos, as well as his computer and camera.

Phuket News

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