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French paedophile arrested

Police have arrested a fugitive French paedophile found working as a tourist guide in the southern city of Chennai, a senior officer said.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2010 14:22 IST

Police have arrested a fugitive French paedophile found working as a tourist guide in the southern city of Chennai, a senior officer said.

The man, named as 53-year-old Eric Martin, had fled while on bail after being sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by a French court for offences against children in an orphanage he ran.

Deputy inspector general of Chennai police, P Kannappan, said Martin was believed to have entered India illegally from Nepal in 2001 and had changed his name to Jack Fernandez to avoid detection.

"He was a rape convict hiding in India," Kannappan told reporters on Tuesday after the arrest.

"We will hand him over to the French police for further proceedings after producing him in a court to complete the formalities."

Martin was the subject of an arrest request from international police organisation Interpol, which tracks fugitives and cross-border crime.

He had been living in a rented house, which had been searched by police, and was believed to have been in Chennai for four to five years, during which time he worked as a guide for tourists.

Kannappan said police would investigate whether Martin had committed any offences during his stay in the city. If not, he would be extradited and handed over to the French police, he said.