Sat, 12 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Pedophile suspect arrested in Bali

A Frenchman wanted in his homeland on child sex charges has been arrested in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, police said on Thursday.

Michel Heller was seized at a bungalow in Bunutan village in the east of the island on Wednesday, said Sri Harmiti of the Bali police's information office. Police said a young boy was in the house at the time.

Harmiti said the arrest was made following an Interpol-backed request by French authorities to track down and apprehend the suspect.

Heller is wanted in the southwestern French town of Grasse, near Nice, for alleged paedophilia, according to a French police source. He has been in Indonesia for five years, where he is suspected to have committed similar acts.

Bali police say they tracked the Frenchman, born in 1949, down to Lovina, a popular beach on the island's northern coast. He was later followed to Bunutan, where he was found in the company of the young boy, whose age was not given.

Harmiti said the suspect was being detained at Bali's police headquarters in the main city of Denpasar.

Bali and several other Indonesian islands, including neighboring Lombok, have reputations as havens for foreign paedophiles and child sex networks.

A former Australian diplomat arrested for suspected paedophilia last year, hanged himself in his cell in May after he was jailed 13 years on child sex offenses. -- AFP