Fugitive sex offender back in NZ
A Hamilton sex offender who fled the country on a fake passport before he could be sentenced is back in New Zealand.
Three police officers escorted Christopher Ian Crause on the journey back from Botswana, Africa, where the 48-year-old was detained for entering the country on a fraudulent passport. He was arrested on landing at Auckland International Airport at 11.30am.
In March 2012 Crause was found guilty in the Hamilton District Court of four counts of sexual connection with a minor, four counts of indecent acts with a minor and two charges of supplying cannabis to a person under 18.
Detective Senior Sergeant Steven Dunn, from New Zealand Police Interpol Wellington, said following his conviction Crause was granted bail and left New Zealand while awaiting sentencing.
"Our initial enquiries suggested Mr Crause had travelled to South Africa via Australia," Dunn said.
"An Interpol Blue Notice was circulated by Interpol Wellington to alert other member countries and request their assistance in locating Mr Crause. In July we were contacted by the Botswana authorities."
It was established that Crause had contravened Botswana immigration legislation when he illegally entered the country which enabled his removal back to New Zealand under Botswana law.
"This is a very good example of New Zealand's government agencies working together to overcome problems," Dunn said.
"Our High Commission in Pretoria coordinated the liaison with the Botswana Authorities and it involved significant input from Interpol Wellington, Immigration New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs to bring this to a conclusion.
"This case further demonstrates the value of Interpol membership in enabling member countries to protect their borders and ensuring that fugitives can be brought to justice."
New Zealand has been a member of Interpol since 1955. Interpol currently has 190 member countries.
- © Fairfax NZ News