Police say Christopher Paul Neil, 37, was returning from Thailand, where he spent five years in prison for sexually abusing two boys.
The RCMP's Integrated Child Exploitation unit obtained a warrant for Neil's arrest under a rarely used section of the Criminal Code that allows arrest if someone's action causes fear of sexual offences to anyone under the age of 16.
"Considering the severity of the offences that he's faced overseas, we felt that at the very least if we could get a … condition imposed, that perhaps it would be in the interest of the public to have him appear in front of the court, whether or not it was justified, to have some measures of control or public safety with regards to his living here in Canada," said RCMP Cpl. Mathias Van Laer.
Neil has no criminal record in Canada.
He is being held in police custody until Monday, when he is scheduled to appear in court in Richmond.
Neil was arrested in Thailand in 2007 after a worldwide Interpol manhunt that was launched when German police were able to digitally unscramble internet photos of him sexually abusing boys in Southeast Asia. Neil had digitally swirled his face to hide his identity in hundreds of photos.
Before his arrest, Neil, of Maple Ridge, B.C., worked as a teacher in several parts of Asia since about 2000. He had worked as a part-time teacher in B.C., as well.