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Sex offender with HIV arrested in Phuket

BANGKOK: A Czech fugitive wanted in his homeland for knowingly spreading HIV to multiple victims has been arrested on a Thai resort island after living in the country for more than a year, police said yesterday.

Zdenek Pfeifer, 49, was detained at his apartment in Phuket on Tuesday evening, Thai Interpol said in a statement. His arrest came after reports warning of his presence in the popular holiday destination went viral on Thai social media this week.

"Thai police will contact Czech Interpol once he has been prosecuted for local violations," Thai Interpol said, adding that he was arrested for illegally overstaying his visa.

Czech media reports said Pfeifer fled the country in June 2015 after he was charged with deliberately infecting more than a dozen men with HIV, including a minor.

Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, Thailand's deputy national police spokesman, said Pfeiffer faced "sex offence" charges back home.

Pfeifer first entered Thailand in June 2015 on a tourist visa which ran out two months later. There are currently no complaints filed in Thailand of Pfeiffer knowingly infecting anyone with HIV. - AFP

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