Indonesian police to help FBI investigation into pedophile teacher

Indonesian police to help FBI investigation into pedophile teacher
File Photo: A view of the entrance to one of the campuses of Southbank International School in London

The National Police say they will assist the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in identifying possible victims of pedophile suspect William James Vahey, who once taught at Jakarta International School (JIS).

The police's general crimes investigation deputy director, Sr. Comr. Toni Hermanto, said on Wednesday that FBI agents would arrive on Monday to collect more information on Vahey's activities when he worked in Jakarta.

"According to the FBI, he taught at JIS from 1992 to 2002. On Monday, the FBI will come to confirm that," Toni told a press conference.

Vahey worked as a teacher at various private schools in a number of countries, including Indonesia, for four decades. Vahey killed himself last month at the age of 64 after the FBI opened an investigation into child porn images found on a flash disk belonging to him.

There were photos of at least 90 victims dating from 2008 on the flash disk, and the FBI has urged other victims to file reports. So far, 50 to 60 of the victims have been identified as students of Southbank International School in London, where Vahey taught history and geography between 2009 and 2013, Associated Press reported.

JIS is currently in the spotlight after a kindergartner was reportedly raped by a number of outsourced cleaners at the school. One of suspects, Zainal Abidin, 28, claimed that he had been sexually abused at the age of 14 by a man with similar facial features to Vahey.

Toni said that the police would study Zainal's claim, "we must cross check his statement."

Separately, JIS head of school Timothy Carr pledged the school's full cooperation with the FBI in the investigation. Carr said that he had met FBI representatives and discussed measures to identify potential victims of Vahey.

"We have already contacted them [the FBI] and tomorrow we will be hosting a meeting with our alumni, as well, to talk about the case that the school is working with at the moment," he said during a visit to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

JIS deputy head of school Stephen Druggan said that the school had send letters to more than 2,000 JIS alumnus to inform them of the FBI's inquiry.

"And we sent them all the contacts from the FBI. If they would like to report or discuss any experience they had [with] Mr. Vahey over 12 years ago, they could do so," he said.

According to Druggan, none of JIS alumnus had filed reports of sexual assault committed by Vahey.

In efforts to protect its students from sex predators, JIS is reevaluating its security protocols within the school compound.

"We will also do our own security audit that has been commissioned by our board of trustees. The objective is to learn from our perspective. First of all, is there anything that we can improve with our security infrastructure and protocols? We also want to help to make sure that there are no additional suspects and no additional victims in the school," Carr said.

Under the police's guidance, JIS has installed more security cameras and made alterations to the bathroom.

The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has alleged that another kindergartner had been abused on the school property, but the victim's family had not filed a police report.

Toni said that the Australian Federal Police had consulted with the National Police regarding the alleged rapes.

"They want to dig into the possibility that an Australian [pupil] was a victim," he said.

JIS currently has about 2,600 students - ranging from kindergarten to high school children - of 63 different nationalities.

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