Bomb collar hoaxer arrives in Australia

An investment banker who allegedly attached a fake bomb to a schoolgirl's neck in a failed extortion attempt has been charged by Australian police after being extradited to Sydney from the United States.

Paul Douglas Peters arrived at Sydney International Airport on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles accompanied by two New South Wales police officers. He was met by more uniformed and plain-clothed police on arrival.

The Australian was arrested in the United States over the August 3 incident in which a fake explosive device was fitted to the neck of 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver.

Police said the 50-year-old was charged with offences including kidnapping and demanding money with menaces. He was refused bail and is due to appear in court via video-link later on Saturday.

Officers praised Pulver, who endured a horrifying ten-hour ordeal after a masked man allegedly entered her luxury home in Sydney's leafy Mosman as she studied alone and attached a device around her neck.

Authorities treated the threat as genuine until they were able to remove the device which was later found to contain no explosives. Police have described it as an elaborate hoax.

"I have great admiration for Madeleine Pulver and her family for the way they have dealt with this matter and what has been obviously a very traumatic time of their lives," Detective Superintendent Luke Moore said on Saturday.

Moore also thanked authorities in the United States for their efforts in finding and arresting Peters, who was picked up by an FBI SWAT team in mid-August in Louisville, Kentucky.

"The job is far from done and the courts will now make their determination," Moore told reporters in Sydney.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to bring this matter to where we are today relatively swiftly."

Peters had been held at Kentucky's Oldham County Jail since he was arrested at the home of his ex-wife near Louisville.

He did not contest the extradition but his lawyers have reportedly said he will fight the charges against him.

Australian police flew to the United States on September 18 to finalise Peter's extradition and arrived back in Sydney with him Saturday.

Peters, dressed in chinos, business shirt and navy blazer, boarded the Qantas flight late on Thursday and touched down in Sydney at 6.20am.

- AFP

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