Glitter Collared In Ho Chi Minh

Disgraced rock star Gary Glitter was arrested at Ho Chi Minh airport as he tried to flee Vietnam following allegations that he’s been having sex with under-age girls.

Immigration officials swooped as he tried to board a November 19th flight to Bangkok, according to the state-controlled local media.

He was taken to Ba-Ria Vung Tau province, where detectives were expected to question him over newspaper reports saying he’s been taking two local girls back to his rented house in the resort town of Vung Tau.

The story of his alleged involvement with the girls broke in the November 13th edition of the U.K.’s News Of The World, which ran a couple of pictures that appeared to show Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) ferrying them around the town on his motor scooter.

It led to local police launching a manhunt for him which, according to The Observer, ended when immigration officer Le Anh Tuan noticed that the name on his passport matched the one he’d read in the Vietnamese press.

Gadd faces the accusation that he engaged in “obscene acts with a child,” according to the national Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Under Vietnamese law, Gadd faces up to 12 years in prison if he is convicted of having sex with someone under the age of consent. Other child abuse charges carry the death penalty.

The official Thanh Nien newspaper reported that the authorities were alerted to Gadd’s behaviour after he was banned from a nightclub for allegedly groping a teenage waitress.

The ’70s singer, who made his name with hits like “I’m The Leader Of The Gang,” “Remember Me This Way” and “Rock And Roll (Part 2),” is thought to have arrived in Vietnam last March. He has twice been thrown out of neighbouring Cambodia although not charged.

Angry campaigners hounded him out after he was detained for three nights over allegations of sexual impropriety with children. He was never convicted of any offences and has petitioned to have the expulsion orders lifted. The case is still pending.

He was convicted of paedophile offences in Britain in 1999 and served two months in jail after admitting to 54 charges related to possessing 4,000 child pornography images on his computer. He was also put on the sexual offenders list.

– John Gammon