Manhunt for Aussie paedophile here

Wanted for 252 child sex charges

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is looking for an Australian National, who is facing over 250 child sex charges in Australia.

The NCPA Police desk said yesterday that it had informed the CID as soon as it had received the tip off regarding the paedophile, who is now believed to be living on a tea plantation in the midlands.

The NCPA has requested the CID to obtain details of Bernard McGrath, a former Catholic brother, his passport details as well as details from the Australian High Commission.

McGrath was reported to have fled New Zealand for Sri Lanka before his extradition could be secured. McGrath is facing 252 child sex charges in Australia relating to his time in church-run institutions in the 1970s and 1980s and was due to be extradited from New Zealand earlier this year.

The NCPA said, however, that they would have to wait word from Interpol to take action against the paedophile. "Even if we get information we simply cannot take action against him without being informed by Interpol," the spokesman said.

McGrath’s brother Clem told Australia’s Fairfax newspapers that he had flown out of Christchurch several months ago after being contacted by a friend who said: "Why don’t you come to Sri Lanka? You’ve got nothing here."

He was paroled in New Zealand in 2008 after serving jail time for child sex offences at a Christchurch school in the 1970s — his second stint in prison for such crimes.

Australian police told AFP they would "not comment in relation to this investigation as speculation may jeopardise current lines of inquiry" and refused to confirm "who we are or are not investigating".

New Zealand police said they were also unable to comment.

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, who is responsible for extraditions, did not immediately respond to questions on the case.

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