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Australian arrested for paedophilia in Bali

Jakarta:  A 69-year-old Australian man has been arrested for allegedly molesting four children in Bali.

Indonesian police arrested Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis, who has lived in Bali for three years, from his rented home in Tabanan, a town in central Bali.

Bali police information officer Sri Harmiti said there were four alleged victims, who were all girls aged over 10.

"We received information from people about his activity, we investigated the information and we followed him last night," she said.

"We followed him when he's driving his bike with two kids with him. When he arrived at his rented house, we took him."

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A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said DFAT was aware of reports of the arrest of an Australian man in Bali and was making urgent queries with local authorities.

Dayu Gayatri from the Netherlands NGO Terre des Hommes, which assists local authorities with the prosecution of sex offenders in Indonesia, said it was believed Ellis was part of an international paedophile ring.

She said it was believed a local network was providing him with access to local children.

Ms Gayatri said two of the girls claim they had been molested by Mr Ellis when he took them on holiday last year.

She said he had plied the girls, who came from poor families, with gifts and dental care.

Ms Gayatri said a Balinese education NGO had approached Terre des Hommes asking for assistance after the girls alleged they had been molested.

Terre des Hommes had then contacted police, who made the arrest within two months.

"Terre des Hommes Netherlands identified Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Nepal as countries where, due in part to the Internet and the increase in tourism, child sexual abuse is prevalent," the NGO says on its website. "Being a taboo subject, child sexual abuse is often hidden behind a wall of silence, denial and indifference."

Immigration officials banned 15 paedophiles from entering Bali between January and September last year, most of whom were from Australia.

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