Man accused in Australian extortion arrested in Louisville

House in the 3000 block of Heather Green Way where Paul Doug Peters was arrested.
House in the 3000 block of Heather Green Way where Paul Doug Peters was arrested.
Luke Moore, New South Wales Police
Luke Moore, New South Wales Police
Madeleine Pulver and Bill Pulver
Madeleine Pulver and Bill Pulver

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a bizarre story that police say began in Australia and ends right here in Oldham County when an FBI SWAT team captured an accused international terrorist at his ex-wife's Kentucky home.

According to the FBI Kentucky office in Louisville, the man responsible for chaining a fake bomb around the neck of an Australian teen from a prominent family two weeks ago was hiding out at his ex-wife's place near La Grange.

Neighbors in a quiet subdivision near La Grange are still trying to understand the enormity of it all. An FBI SWAT team converging on a home in the 3000 block of Heather Green Way in an alleged case of international extortion.

For ten hours police in New South Wales, Australia say 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver, the daughter of a prominent Australian businessman, was tortured by masked men who broke into her Sydney home and put what they told her was a bomb around her neck. Police say it was all about her father's wealth.

"There was a letter of demand attached to that bomb with certain demands made in that letter," said Luke Moore, an officer with the New South Wales Police Department.

Madeleine couldn't move and a bomb squad slowly and carefully worked to remove what turned out to be an incredibly sophisticated fake bomb.

New South Wells police confirmed 50-year-old Paul Doug Peters, an Australian citizen left the country and traveled to the U.S. ending up at his ex-wife's home. Two New South Wells officers flew to Louisville Sunday night and began working with the FBI.

After obtaining a search warrant, the Louisville FBI bureau SWAT team got to Peters around 4 p.m. Monday.

"I believe Mr. Peters was the only person in the house at the time the arrest was done fairly swiftly and safely," Moore said of the arrest.

It came as welcome news to Madeleine's mother and father.

"On behalf of Maddie and the entire family," her father Bill told reporters, "We are enormously relieved that an arrest has been made in the United States and we are hopeful this development marks the beginning of the end of this traumatic ordeal."

Peters will be in court Tuesday morning in Louisville.

Australian officials say they will seek extradition. Once returned to his homeland, Peters will face a kidnapping charge, along with breaking and entering.

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