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An Australian who was connived of the rape and molestation of boys as young as eight in Indonesia in 2012 has been arrested in Thailand. Peter Dundas Walbran was found teaching at a school in Ubon Ratchathani in north east Thailand. Walbran, the former head of the Australian International School in Jakarta, was apprehended as he was leaving to go to the school on Wednesday, police had a warrant to search his apartment under the suspicion he was in possession of child pornography. The man is now being held in the immigration department cells. Police also questioned and released an 18 year old Thai man who had be sharing an apartment with Walbran. Police say that Walbran had been seen with children from his local neighborhood several times since Monday, some on the back of his motorbike.
It is expected that Walbran will be flown to Bangkok while investigations continue.
Walbran was back in Asia teaching after being deported from Indonesia to Australia last year. The man was tracked down by Geln Hully, a Melbourne investigator. Walbran was hired to work at the school despite simple google searches bringing up his pedophilic past. The arrest stunned teachers at the Narinukun International School who are all worried what sort of affect the arrest will have on the children.
The arrest came only days after new legislation came into force in Thailand that criminalizes the possession of child abuse material. Offenders face up to ten years in jail. Walbran was sentenced to three years in jail on the island of Lombok in 2012 for the repeated rate and abuse of children over a period of nine years. Indonesian authorities allege that Walbran befriended children on the beaches and paid them as little as $3 to commit acts on them. In 1997 Walbran approached an eight year old child crying on the beach, Walbran brought him clothes and took him to a waterfall before sexually abusing him according to the police.
Two weeks after arriving back in Sydney on temporary Australian travel documents, Walbran was served papers ordering him to register his Indonesian convictions with Australia’s National Child Offender Register. He failed to do this and left Australia earlier this year on a New Zealand passport he acquired in NSW. The Narinukun School cancelled Walbran’s work contract on Wednesday.