France to act tough against paedophiles, says Ambassador to India

Concerned over increasing paedophile cases involving French citizens in India, France has stepped up its cooperation with CBI to deal with the crime, which has seen a six-fold increase in the last three years in South East Asia.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 27, 2015, 14:34 PM IST

New Delhi: Concerned over increasing paedophile cases involving French citizens in India, France has stepped up its cooperation with CBI to deal with the crime, which has seen a six-fold increase in the last three years in South East Asia.

French Ambassador to India Francois Richier said, France has zero tolerance for paedophile crimes and it has added a chapter on cooperation three years back to tackle such crimes with India, which has also conveyed its concerns on the matter.

He said his government was committed to act stringently against sexual crimes against children and in the light of reports of increase in paedophile crimes involving French nationals in South East Asia, it has strengthened the cooperation with India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

"In 2012, there were only two cases but since 2014 there have been 12 cases in which investigation is on and three suspected paedophiles have been arrested -one in France and two in Nepal," Fabrice Grassir, Police Attache in the French Embassy told a select group of journalists.

Noting that tourist and coastal states provide an environment for predators to find their preys, Grassir said it has been observed that apart from coming as tourists, these paedophiles also act as volunteers and try to take advantage of vulnerable situations following natural disasters such as earthquakes.

"Recently, we received reports that there were suspicious activities of foreigners at the Indo-Nepal border," Grassir said.

However, he did not disclose the details of the action taken by security officials.

He also said that a French national was arrested in France for alleged sexual crime against children in India few months back.

Giving details of cooperation between India and France, he said French security authorities were in touch with their Indian counterparts to strengthen cooperation to deal with such cases.

"We are in discussions with the CBI and we are expecting that a team of French officials will soon visit India to train security personnel and exchange best practices to deal with such cases," Gassir said, noting that there was a separate and specialised wing to deal with such crimes in French security system.

According to official data, as many as 22670 cases of crime against children have been reported in India last year. However, there was no separate data available for involvement of foreign nationals in these crimes.

The French Ambassador also asserted that his government was committed to ensure that no French paedophile or their support network escape from the law.