Christopher Paul Neil was arrested Friday, March 28 without incident by B.C. RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation investigators in Vancouver.
The arrest is in connection with two investigations – one by the B.C. RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit, the other by Vancouver Police Department.
After an extensive international investigation, in October 2007 Christopher Neil was arrested in Bangkok Thailand and charged with a series of sexual offenses against children.
B.C. RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) unit forwarded a series of investigative findings collected in B.C. to the Thailand police in support of their primary investigation.
Neil was convicted in 2008 in Thailand, served his sentence and was released and returned to Canada in September 2012, where he was subject to a series of conditions.
In September 2012, officials in Thailand confirmed that evidence provided by B.C. ICE in support of their criminal matter had not been used in their prosecution. Therefore, B.C. ICE investigators, in consultation with Crown Counsel, immediately reviewed their findings and conducted follow up investigations. .
B.C. ICE investigative findings were submitted to Crown for charge assessment and Friday, six new charges have been approved and sworn under the authority of Section 7 (4.1) of the Criminal Code. This section allows Canadian authorities to investigate and prosecute certain offences, such as child pornography and the victimization of children, committed by Canadian citizens in other countries. In this case the offences occurred in Cambodia.
Neil has been charged with:
- Two counts of sexual touching under Section 153 of the Criminal Code;
- Two counts of invitation to sexual touching under Section 153 of the Criminal Code;
- One count of production and One count of possession of child pornography under section 163.1 of the Criminal Code.
The sexual touching, invitation to sexual touching and production charges related to incidents that occurred in 2003 in Cambodia and the possession count relates to investigative findings in 2007 in Maple Ridge.
B.C. ICE has worked very closely with our international law enforcement community throughout this investigation. The charges laid today are the result of years of work in support of our efforts to identify and charge those involved in tourism for the purposes of committing sexual offenses against children, says acting Supt. Ward Lymburner, with the B.C. Major Crime Section.
Cambodian officials are aware of the investigation and the charges laid in connection with the allegations. Investigative efforts are ongoing.
The Vancouver Police case stems from a 2013 investigation where it is alleged that Neil had possessed and viewed child pornography in the city of Vancouver. That investigation has now resulted in four charges being laid.
Neil has been charged with:
- Two counts of accessing child pornography under Section 163.1(4.1) of the Criminal Code;
- Two counts of possession of child pornography under Section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The Vancouver Police Department’s Counter Exploitation Unit makes the protection of children in our community a top priority, says VPD Inspector Cita Airth.
Our investigators work tirelessly to protect those who are not yet big enough to protect themselves.
Neil remains in custody in connection with all 10 counts and is scheduled to make his next court appearance in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court on Monday, March 31.
Neil grew up in Maple Ridge, but has no fixed address at the moment. His family still lives in the community.
Neil was the subject of an international manhunt in 2007 after Interpol unscrambled digitally swirled images of him allegedly engaging in sexual acts with young boys from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, ranging in age from six to 16.
Interpol received more than 300 tips from the public in response to the world-wide appeal.
Dubbed “swirl face,” Neil fled from South Korea, where he was teaching English, to Thailand.
Cambodian police have a warrant out for Neil’s arrest connected to allegations of abuse in that country.
Neil attended the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission from 1995 to 1999 and received a B.C. independent teaching certificate in 2000.
He also volunteered at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Maple Ridge in 2000 and 2001 and was a substitute teacher at Arch Bishop Carney in Port Coquitlam for five days in April and May of 2007.