Singapore

MOE Language Centre-linked French teacher arrested in Bangkok for alleged sex with minors

A French-language teacher from the Ministry of Education (MOE) Language Centre in Singapore has been arrested in Bangkok for allegedly having sex with minors.

Jean-Christophe Quenot, 51, was arrested in a hotel room in the Thai capital on Monday, according to reports in the Thai media.

A check of the MOE Language Centre's website yesterday showed Quenot listed as a staff in the French department, but his name was removed later in the day.

MOE told The Straits Times last night: "Jean-Christophe Quenot is a teacher in the French department at MOE Language Centre. We are doing internal checks, and note that this matter is being investigated by the Thai authorities.

"MOE takes a serious view of misconduct by our staff and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who do not adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline. In serious cases, their service may be terminated."

At a press conference on Wednesday, the commander of the Metropolitan Police, Major General Senit Samrarnsamruajkit, alleged that Quenot would meet boys aged 13 to 15 at the Huay Kwang Stadium in Bangkok a year ago, and offer to teach them English and coach them in football .

He allegedly invited some boys to his hotel room for sex, in exchange for cash.

When police arrested him on Monday, officers found a camera tripod in the hotel room and a video of Quenot having sex with a teenage boy, Thai reports said. They also found a computer with pornographic films.

One of Quenot's former students, Mr Aaron Pereira, told ST he recognised Quenot from his mugshot published in Thai media and was "completely shocked and in disbelief" over the arrest.

The 27-year-old, who works in the aviation sector, studied French as an A-level subject at MOE Language Centre's Bishan campus from 2008 to 2009.

The centre, which also has a campus in Newton, teaches foreign languages such as French, German and Japanese.

COURT & CRIME