Alert Chennai Airport officers help in nabbing Australian offender

Posted By: Staff
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Sydney, Oct. 4 (ANI): A German-born Australian convict, who slipped through Australia customs and immigration checkpoint with a fake Indian passport and a remarkable disguise, was nabbed by alert Chennai Airport officials while he was trying to enter India.

Caucasian kidnapper Julian Matthias Buchwald, 23, had duped Sydney customs with dyed black hair and a fake tan before taking his seat on the 12.30 PM Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney to Chennai.

However, Chennai Airport officials sensed something amiss from with his appearance and refused hims entry into India. The on-the-run Buchwald was then sent back to Singapore where his true identity was revealed and he was detained, The Age reports.

Buchwald, whose family had migrated to Australia when he was in his teens, left the country on September 16, a day before he was due to be sentenced in Victoria's County Court for the kidnapping of his then 17-year-old girlfriend Carolynne Watson.

Buchwald held Watson captive in East Gippsland bush for eight days in March last year. Buchwald wanted to marry Watson, a fellow member of the Morwell Apostolic Church, but she was unsure so he decided to kidnap her.

He was sentenced in absentia to a minimum of five years and three months' jail.

Victoria Police are trying to find out how Buchwald who does not speak a word of Hindi managed to get out of the country on a doctored passport.

"It was a very amateur alteration to the passport," investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Matthew Gleeson, said.

According to an immigration department spokesman, the passport belonged to an Indian tourist who had reported it missing. Buchwald was stopped at the airport and his passport checked but it was in such bad condition that officers did not realise the photo was fake.

"We are investigating how this incident happened. The facts are he was travelling on a genuine passport and he matched the photograph on the document," he added. (ANI)

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