Australia Hoax Collar Bomb Suspect Arrested in US

The New South Wales police commissioner says he’s in awe of the work conducted by his team that led to today’s arrest of a man in the United States, over the collar bomb hoax on a Sydney schoolgirl.

The bomb threat was made against 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver on Sydney’s north shore 2 weeks ago.

This morning the FBI swooped on a suspect in Louisville, Kentucky.

New South Wales Police are now seeking the extradition of the 50-year-old man.

The man alleged to be behind the horrific act has been named as 50-year-old Paul “Doug” Peters.

After a 2 week long investigation, New South Wales Police, the FBI have arrested him at his ex-wife’s home in Louisville Kentucky in America’s south.

It was the news the Pulver family has been waiting for.

Two weeks ago their lives were turned upside down when a balaclava-clad (masked) man entered their Mosman home on Sydney’s north shore and strapped a device around the neck of 18-year-old school student, Madeleine Pulver.

They endured 10 hours of torment, before police could remove the device and confirm it wasn’t a bomb.

Madeleine Pulver’s father, Bill Pulver, addressed the media today, “On behalf of Maddie and the entire family, we are enormously relieved that an arrest has been made in the United States overnight. These past two weeks have been a very difficult time for us and we are hopeful that this development marks the beginning of the end of this traumatic ordeal for our family.”

This morning, Australian time, an FBI SWAT team swooped on a Louisville property and took Paul Peters in to custody.

The commander of State Crime Command for New South Wales Police is Dave Hudson who reported that the suspect was surprised.

Police say Mr. Peters left Australia for the US on August 8th, five days after the hoax, but it was only after that, last week, that he became a suspect.

Immediately New South Wales Police contacted the FBI and two New South Wales police officers arrived in Louisville last night.

One is the superintendent commander of the Robbery and Serious Crimes Unit Luke Moore, who briefed the media in Louisville. Moore reported that it was a fairly normal arrest. “Obviously the FBI people affected the arrest and I believe Mr. Peters was the only person in the house at the time and the arrest was done fairly swiftly and safely, there was no incident surrounding it.”

Mr. Peters is believed to commute between Australia and the US. He has family in both countries and has done business in both.

Madeleine Pulver’s father Bill runs a software company. Police have declined to comment on whether the suspect is involved in the IT industry, but the State Crime Command’s Dave Hudson says they are still investigating connections between Bill Pulver’s business and the suspect. “There are some links between the two, between the suspect and the family however no direct links and that’s still a matter of investigation. The actual ins and outs of motive and everything else are yet to be determined and that’s part of our ongoing investigation.”

Police are yet to charge Mr. Peters but they’re treating the incident as an extortion attempt and have indicated that he could face aggravated break and enter and kidnapping charges, which carry lengthy jail terms.

But first Mr. Peters has to be extradited to Australia, which could take some time.

“It’s all dependent up on whether extradition is defended and that’s one of the key points in how long it will take. We will be given a certain amount of time once he appears at court to prepare a brief of evidence and serve that brief if extradition is contested from the United States and we’ll be in a position to do that,” Hudson said.

New South Wales’ police commissioner Andrew Scipione praised the investigators involved, “Their efforts have brought us to the point where today there has been an arrest. A brilliant investigation, they are to be commended.”

At this stage, police allege Mr. Peters acted alone. He is expected to appear in a Louisville Court at 9.30 tomorrow morning local time – that’s late tonight Australian time.

This article was written by Lexi Metherell and published by The World Today on August 16, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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