중앙데일리

American pedophiles banned by authorities

May 09,2008
Twenty-one convicted American pedophiles have been banned from entering Korea, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday.
“The list of 21 U.S.-registered sex offenders who have been convicted of assaulting children under 14 years old was provided by the United States Department of Homeland Security,” said Jin Gyeong-jun, an official of the international criminal affairs division at the Justice Ministry. Of the 21, five had previously visited Korea.
“They were identified as traveling frequently to Asian countries,” Jin said. “Because they could repeat their crimes, the U.S. gave us a list of their possible destinations,” Jin added.
The Justice Ministry said this was its first cooperative effort with the Department of Homeland Security.
Under the nation’s Immigration Control Act, the government can prohibit the entry of any foreigner “likely to commit an act harmful to the nation’s economy or society or to commit an act of moral turpitude.”
“U.S. citizens are eligible to stay in Korea for up to 90 days without a visa, and some work illegally as English teachers once they arrive as tourists,” Jin said.
“There was a case of a pedophile wanted by Interpol who had worked as an English teacher in Korea before being arrested in Thailand. Since parents are very concerned about such situations, we decided to ban the 21 Americans,” Jin said.
Jin was referring to last year’s arrest of Christopher Paul Neil by Thai authorities after an intensive manhunt. Last October, the 32-year-old suspect, named as Interpol’s most-wanted pedophile, was apprehended shortly after he fled Korea.
Neil was accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen boys in three countries, not including Korea, and putting pictures of the assaults on the Internet with his face blurred.
He had worked in Korea for over four years, shocking parents here.
Although five of the blacklisted 21 had visited Korea as tourists, they had not worked as English teachers, according to Jin.


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장