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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Norwegian paedophile arrested

Photo: 49-year-old Norwegian Alf Oddvar Bjorndal was arrested in Pattaya on charges of child abuse and could face a sentence of 10 - 15 years in Chonburi prison. The messsage: child molesters are not welcome here and will be caught.

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Police arrested 49-year-old Norwegian Alf Oddvar Bjørndal for molesting a 13-year-old boy at the Manipha Guesthouse on January 11, 1998, after receiving a complaint from an 11-year-old boy’s mother.
Mrs. Pranom Sornphet told Pattaya tourist police that her son had gone missing for 3 days and that upon his return told her that he had stayed with, and been sexually molested by, a "Falang".
Mrs. Pranom and her son led a squad of tourist police, headed by Pol. Lt. Thanomsak Indharabutr, to the Manipha Guesthouse, where officers found Bjørndal, clad only in a pink towel, and a 13-year-old boy lying naked on his bed. Police also found a picture album that contained photos of young boys and a camera with 9 pictures already taken. Later investigation revealed that the pictures in Bjørndal’s camera were also of young boys.
Bjørndal was arrested for child abuse.
While police were still in the room, another young boy arrived, a 14-year-old illegal Burmese immigrant, bringing the total to three children accusing Bjørndal of molesting them.
The caretaker of the Manipha Guest house told police that a woman often brought 10-13 year old boys to Bjørndal’s room. This was confirmed by the boys, who told police that Mrs. Pradab Saekhoo, a.k.a. ‘Jay Noo’, 45, arranged contacts for them and received 100 baht per child. The boys received 200 baht to be with the man each day.
Police found the procuress working construction at a new hotel site. Mrs. Pradab Saekhoo confessed to charges of procuring and was arrested and charged with procuring children for the purpose of child prostitution. Pradab told police that she had known Bjørndal for many years and that he had been a good client of hers.
The three boys told police that ‘Jay Noo’ had ‘tricked’ them into coming to visit the Norwegian, who they called ‘John’. They said that ‘Jay Noo’ told them he was a kind man who liked to play with children and give them money for food.
Once in the room, the man told the boys his wishes, offering them each 200 baht. The boys agreed.
Police have since learned that Pradab had control over a group of boys, which she provided to visiting paedophiles. Some of the boys began to visit Bjørndal without first contacting Pradab, which, when she found out, made her angry. She then went to the 11-year-old boy’s mother to report the matter to the police as an act of revenge against Bjørndal.
Photo: Pradab Saekhoo, a.k.a. 'Jay Noo', 45, received 100 Baht for each boy she procured for child prostitution.
Arresting officers scolded the mother who made the initial complaint, telling her that she had been remiss in teaching her child right from wrong and should begin to take an active interest in her child’s development, saying to her, "How can we put sole blame on foreigners with money for corrupting children when Thai nationals act as procurers and parents do not teach them about avoiding strangers. If we want an Amazing Thailand, we should be a bit more meticulous in the way we instruct our young people in handling basic life situations."
Both Pradab and Bjørndal were remanded to custody and await further interrogation.
Update, January 13: Pattaya Mail has received word from Norway’s No. 1 newspaper, VG (Verdens Geng) that Alf Oddvar Bjørndal is an escapee from a 1 year 8 month jail sentence for sexually molesting children in Norway and is wanted by Interpol.
Bjørndal’s case has shocked the nation of Norway and is receiving intense coverage in the Norwegian press. Bjørndal has made the front page of all the major dailies there. Norwegian television and press reporters are now in country to further report on the case.
Photo: Bjørndal was taken for arraignment to Chonburi court.
Sudarat Seriwat of the coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation (FACE), renowned for getting involved in cases such as this, and Paweena Hongsakul, Child and Women’s Rights Advocate, have gotten involved in this case and will certainly push for the maximum sentence.
Bjørndal was taken for arraignment on January 13 to Chonburi court. Police are still compiling evidence, so a further court date was set for January 23, 1998. Nai Visarn from Bangkok was appointed by the Norwegian Embassy to represent Bjørndal. Bjørndal was denied bail and has been remanded to custody at Chonburi prison. If convicted, Bjørndal could face a sentence of 10 - 15 years in Chonburi prison.