A UK citizen convicted of grooming children for sex in his home country entered Vietnam last month and departed early this month, according to the Vietnamese Immigration Department.
British man Christopher John Trinnaman, 41, was in 2010 jailed for four years in his absence by a UK court for causing or inciting children to engage in sexual activity in 2008 and possessing indecent images, UK tabloid Mirror reported.
He had posed as a teen online and persuaded two girls to send naked pictures before trying to lure one to a hotel for sex.
Police were alerted and found 28 indecent images of kids on his computer in a search of his home.
Trinnaman was caught in 2011 and served his sentence until he was released from jail in 2015.
The trombone player entered Vietnam on April 9 this year on a visa granted to foreigners working for enterprises in Vietnam, the Immigration Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security told Vietnam News Agency.
He left the country on May 3, the department added.
Mirror reported that he worked with the Hanoi-based Sun Symphony Orchestra for a short time before resigning on April 23.
According to the immigration department, Trinnaman is not on the list of those banned from entering Vietnam under the country’s law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners.
“At present, there is no information about Christopher John Trinnaman’s violations of Vietnam’s entry and exit regulations or actions that might be inappropriate to or violate Vietnam’s law when he was in Vietnam,” the Vietnam News Agency quoted the department as saying.
The department noted that it is in touch with the UK’s diplomatic mission in Vietnam to verify information related to the man’s case, adding that it will coordinate with relevant agencies to proactively take action to prevent criminals from entering the country. A photo of Trinnaman surrounded by some Asian children, putting his arm over the shoulder of one of the unsuspecting kids, was published on Mirror on Saturday, raising safety concerns as a convicted pedophile in the UK was allowed to make physical contact with children in another country.
Tuoi Tre News could not independently verify the authenticity of these undated images.
Dang Hoa Nam, director of the Child Affairs Department of Vietnam, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday it is not illegal for a person guilty of pedophilia in the past to be around children after serving their sentence, citing Vietnamese laws.
“People like Trinnaman who have a criminal record of past convictions for pedophilia-related crimes are barred from jobs that require contact with or involve children,” Nam said.
In this case, the Briton moved to Vietnam to work in an orchestra, which is not a child-related profession.
“Even if he was in the photos with those children, he would not have broken any law in doing so,” Nam explained.
“However, Vietnamese authorities do keep a close watch on ‘high-risk’ people like Trinnaman."