Seven-year RI to Peats, McBride

| 22 July 2002 23:26 IST

Two old-age foreigner paedophiles - Freddy Peats and Eoghan Colm McBride - were sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment each by the district court here, for running child prostitution racket in the coastal area here.

Peats is already undergoing a life sentence since 1996, after his racket came to light in 1991. The local police tried him. Subsequently, the CBI also handled the case, chargesheeting altogether six foreigners, including Peats.

However, only 63-year old McBride from New Zealand could be arrested since then. Other four - Werner Wulf Ingo (Australia), Neels Oscar Johnson (Sweden), Raymond Varley (Bangkok), Zell Jurgen Adreas alias Yogi (German) and Dominique Sabire (France) - are still absconding.

Both Peats and McBride however have been now sentenced for committing offences of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, abducting and selling minors for prostitution.

In fact the whole country was shocked when Peats' decade-long racket got exposed in 1991. He was running an orphanage called 'Gurukul' in a village near Colva beach in South Goa, but was actually exploiting the destitute children sexually and also selling them to other visiting foreigner paedophiles.

The prosecution, while producing several witnesses including the victims, established a fact that the children were kidnapped, subjected to sexual abuse and causing injury to them, sold and made these children available to foreign nationals to satisfy their sexual lust.

The case was handed over to the CBI as per the high court orders, after Mumbai-based child rights activist Sheela Barse approached the court, complaining that the local police authorities are not seriously investigating into it.

This was proved even later as yet another accomplice of Peats - Sabire from France - managed to jump the bail and flee the country in 2000, after he was arrested in Delhi in 1996, thanks to the suspiciously negligent attitude of the local police.

This also followed another paedophile disappearing from India - German national Brinkman Helmut - who was arrested in yet another case after one NGO compelled the police to act.

The government as well as the police nowadays admit that paedophilia problem does exist in the tourist state. But, in spite of several assurances, the government is yet to bring a special legislation to deal with the menace while the children here are still being sexually harassed without any fear.

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