Austrian accused of child sex crimes arrested in Vietnam

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested an Austrian man wanted by Interpol for alleged child sex abuse, authorities said Tuesday. The man, identified as Peter Mueller, 68, was taken into custody Monday from his rented house, a police investigator said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

An official at Interpol Vietnam said his office received arrest warrants for Mueller from Austrian police and Interpol in November. Mueller, who has allegedly sexually abused children in Austria, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands since 1996, fled in late 2003 to Vietnam where he worked as an English teacher, the official said on customary condition of anonymity.

Mueller was arrested at his home in Ho Chi Minh City where he was living with a 14-year-old Vietnamese boy, the police investigator said. Ho Chi Minh City police are investigating whether he can be charged with child sex abuse crimes in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 carries varying penalties, depending on the charge. Austrian Embassy officials in Hanoi said Vietnamese authorities have not notified them of Mueller's arrest.

Last month, former British glam rocker Gary Glitter was arrested amid allegations of having sex with underage girls as young as 11.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was captured at Ho Chi Minh City Airport as he was trying to flee to Thailand. He is being held under suspicion of engaging in obscene acts with a child, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, reports the AP. I.L.

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