A prominent Canadian charity worker has been arrested after allegedly ‘luring’ young children into performing sexual acts.
Peter Dalglish, 60, was found in the same room as two boys aged 12 and 14 when police performed a raid on his idyllic mountainside home in Nagarkot, near Kathmandu on April 8.
The former Order of Canada recipient has been locked inside a detention center in Nepal’s capital, under suspicion of having sex with young boys, The Globe and Mail reported.
The father of one of the boys found inside Dalglish’s home in Nepal told the publication both children gave police graphic explanations of the man’s alleged sexual contact with them.
Peter Dalglish, pictured with a young male acquaintance, is a former Unicef and WHO official who was found with ‘two young boys at his home in Nepal’ and has been jailed over allegations of serious child sex offences
Dalglish, pictured with Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, held a number of senior posts with the UN
Dalglish has not been formally charged, but can be held for up to 25 days while police investigate.
The Canadian man denied the allegations to the Mail on Sunday through his lawyer, Rahul Chapagain, who said Dalglish will plead not guilty.
Chapagain told The Globe and Mail photographs found in Dalglish’s home of children, some who were naked, were similar to those an ordinary tourist would take of children living in poverty.
Dalglish himself, speaking from behind bars, told the paper he had a clean criminal record, and had simply been targeted because of his close work with young children.
‘If you do the work that I do, with kids, you leave yourself open to criticism. And suspicion,’ he said.
The 60-year-old has held various posts, some senior, with UN agencies in Nepal, Kabul, Afghanistan and Liberia.
He has also been appointed Senior Urban Advisor to the World Health Organization to help coordinate global efforts to stop the spread of Ebola.
In his most recent posting in 2015, he was the UN’s ‘country representative’ in Kabul.
Detectives claim the lawyer-turned-charity boss has been abusing children in Nepal for 15 years, after a young man in his mid-20s made historical allegations against him.
Dalglish had a 30-year career with the UN and was arrested at his house in Nepal (pictured), where police claim he was found in a room with two young boys, aged 12 and 14
Police say ‘medical and scientific evidence’ against Dalglish will be presented by prosecutors when he appears in court on Wednesday.
Officers said they were tipped off by workers from another charity three months ago, but also received intelligence from a foreign law enforcement agency more recently, and were following Dalglish prior to the arrest.
‘Initial investigations revealed that he had been targeting children from poor financial backgrounds and sexually abusing them,’ said Pushkar Karki, director of Nepal’s elite Central Investigation Bureau.
Dalglish is accused of luring children away from their families with promises of education and jobs
He claimed that Dalglish lured children away from their parents with offers to educate them, take them abroad and provide them with jobs.
He told The Mail on Sunday that Dalglish believed his status would make him invulnerable, adding: ‘Those things made it easy for him to prey on those kids. And then they would be silenced, because he has got so much influence.’
Staff at various UN agencies were urgently investigating Dalglish’s past activities last week.
The married father-of-one founded global charity Street Kids International (SKI), which is now part of London-based Save the Children. He says he was inspired to help youngsters by the 1984 Ethiopian famine, which gave rise to Band Aid and Live Aid, and in his autobiography he writes of meeting Bob Geldof the following year at a camp in Sudan.
He recalled watching refugee children cluster around Geldof and observed: ‘I have always believed that many kids come with a built-in radar that tells them which adults they can trust and which they should fear.’
Dalglish has denied all allegations, and says his proximity to children has made him an easy target
Dalglish, whose net worth has been estimated at nearly $7million USD, has met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Princess Anne through his humanitarian work.
About 15 years ago, he founded the Himalayan Community Foundation, providing healthcare and education to remote communities in Nepal.
Dalglish’s UN career spans more than 30 years, and at various times he has held senior posts in the World Food Programme, Unicef, WHO, and UN-Habitat, the organisation’s home-building programme.
WFP said it was checking its records for the mid-1980s but had not yet found Dalglish’s name – a spokesman added that he could have been a local appointment.
UN-Habitat revealed that Dalglish worked for it between 2010 and 2015, but there have ‘not been any reports or allegations on any misconduct during his tenure’. WHO said it was ‘shocked’ at the allegations but added that no complaints had been made against him.
Save the Children said Dalglish had never worked for the charity, adding: ‘Save the Children acquired one of SKI’s programmes and some of its assets in 2015.’ Unicef said they were reviewing their records. Sir Bob Geldof declined to comment.
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