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Australian To Face Sex Charges In India

A SYDNEY man accused of buying underage boys for sex from a Third World orphanage has been quietly extradited to India by the Federal Government to face charges over his role in an international pedophile ring.
After more than a decade on the run, Wulf Ingo Werner was handed into police custody in New Dehli earlier this month without fanfare when Justice Minister Chris Ellison approved the unprecedented extradition order.
The 54-year-old allegedly procured boys from an orphanage in the seaside city of Goa, run by notorious pedophile Freddy Peats, during three trips in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Peats, who died in an Indian prison in April, aged 81, was jailed for life in 1996 as the mastermind of a child prostitution racket.
Indian authorities are still hunting German, French and Thai nationals who were allegedly involved in the ring, selling orphans to Western pedophiles.
Another man, 65-year-old Eoghan Colm McBride, of New Zealand, was convicted in 2002.
Werner's extradition comes as another Australian accused of child-sex crimes overseas, Clint Rex Betterridge, is being held in a Queensland jail awaiting extradition to Cambodia.
Betterridge was convicted in absentia by a Cambodian court in January 2003 of the rape of a 14-year-old girl and the sexual assault of three other teenagers.
Werner, who is believed to have lived in the northern beaches suburb of Fairlight, was charged in 1995 and has been sought by Indian authorities ever since.
Werner rented a two-bedroom flat above that of Max Brady until he "disappeared" in 1997.
"He left all his clothes, washing, plates and food," Mr Brady said. The next Mr Brady heard of Werner was when the accused pedophile's solicitors wrote, asking for $50,000.
The money was for a "full and final settlement" for paintings by "famous Australian artists", which Werner had supposedly left in the flat.
Mr Brady had the paintings, which were signed by Werner, appraised. They were worthless.
Indian authorities formally applied for Werner's extradition on February 9 this year.
He appeared before a NSW magistrate on March 23, and is understood to have consented to extradition. On August 4, authorities escorted him to India where he was met by police in New Delhi. He was remanded in custody and is expected to reappear at a South Goa court next week.
Australian anti-child-sex tourism campaigner Bernadette McMenamin said the extradition of an Australian to a Third World country to face child-sex charges was unprecedented.
"I cannot think of any other case when an Australian has been extradited to face charges in a Third World country," Ms McMenamin said.
"This will send a clear message that men who travel to Third World countries to have sex with minors will be prosecuted."
Ms McMenamin said Australian authorities needed to work more closely with their overseas counterparts to ensure child-sex tourists were prosecuted.
"There has always been a propensity for these people to believe they won't be charged in these countries, and if they are, then they won't be sent back to face prosecution," she said.

The Australian (18-8-2005)
Padraic Murphy

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