Interpol is following up more than 200 leads on potential names of a Western man accused of molesting Asian boys, the police agency said on Wednesday, 24 hours after launching a global hunt for the suspect.
"Interpol's request for public assistance in identifying this man -- only the second time in the organisation's history that it has made such an appeal -- attracted worldwide attention," the agency said in a statement.
It said there were nearly 30 times more visitors than average to its website, www.interpol.int, in the first 12 hours after launching its appeal on Tuesday.
"Just 24 hours after launching Operation IDent, Interpol has received more than 200 leads of potential names, locations and photographs of the unidentified suspect," said the statement.
It said the information had come from the public and national police forces but gave no details.
"The reaction to our appeal has been global and officers here at the Interpol General Secretariat, in our National Central Bureaus and specialist units around the world are now carefully assessing and analysing all information provided to ensure that any lead can be properly followed," said Kristin Kvigne, assistant director of Interpol's Trafficking in Human Beings Unit.
"The public's response has been very positive and we would encourage anyone who believes they may know this person to contact either Interpol or their national police.
"The smallest piece of information from anywhere in the world could be crucial in identifying this man," added Dvigne.
Interpol has posted images on its website of a man accused of distributing hundreds of photos of his abuse of Southeast Asian boys committed in 2000 and 2001.
Police in Thailand and Cambodia say they are on high alert.
It is the second time in seven months the international police agency has made such a public appeal, following a search for another suspected paedophile, Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian who was arrested in Thailand in October.