New Brunswick

Fugitive dentist from France arrested in Nackawic

A fugitive dentist accused of mutilating and defrauding patients in France has been captured in New Brunswick and will face an immigration detention review hearing on Friday.

Jacobus Marinus van Nierop wanted on international warrant for alleged mutilation of patients, fraud

A Dutch dentist wanted by authorities in France for allegedly mutilating numerous patients during botched procedures has been captured in Nackawic, N.B.

Jacobus Marinus van Nierop, 50, was arrested in the small town, located west of Fredericton, on Monday, according to an investigator with the Gendarmerie Nationale in Chateau-Chinon, the Burgundy region of France.

Jacobus Marinus van Nierop is accused of mutilating and defrauding patients in Chateau-Chinon, France. (CBC)
But the officer declined any further comment, saying the matter is under investigation.

The fugitive, also known as Mark van Nierop​, had been wanted since December on charges of violence causing mutilation or permanent disability and fraud after he allegedly pierced some patients' jaws with poorly placed implants, left parts of dental tools lodged in other patients' gums, and pulled out healthy teeth, Europe 1 radio has reported.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Van Nierop is scheduled to have a detention review hearing on Friday at 11 a.m. AT, said Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada spokesperson Charles Hawkins.

He is being detained for "immigration purposes," said Hawkins, adding he was unable to discuss the details until after the quasi-judicial hearing.

It will be held by telephone with van Nierop at the Southwest Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, Canada Border Services Agency officials in Halifax and the decision maker in Montreal, Hawkins said.

A summary of the facts and the decision will be made public following the hearing, he said.

Alleged victims 'very happy' about arrest

Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Jennifer Morrison declined to comment on the case.

"It is not a practice of the CBSA to confirm/deny whether a person has been arrested and/or is under investigation," she stated in an email.

New Brunswick RCMP Cpl. Chantal Farrah also declined to comment.

Van Nierop was arrested at the apartment building he had been living in for the past eight months, according to people in the community CBC News spoke to on Thursday.

Scot Cullins knew van Nierop and was one of the people who was called to the apartment to help clean it up after the fugitive attempted suicide.

"It wasn’t a very pretty sight. It was one of the, I’d say it was pretty well the scariest thing I’ve ever seen, horrifying actually. I’m still seeing nightmares,” Cullins said.

He said he has been having a hard time sleeping.

Scot Cullins helped clean up the apartment where van Nierop attempted suicide. (CBC)
​“Every time I close my eyes, all I see is red,” he said.

Cullins first met van Nierop in late December or early January and said he was polite. They even had a beer or two together.

"I never dreamed that there would be a side of him that we're seeing right now," Cullins said.

Cullins said van Nierop was not working while in New Brunswick.

“He had lots of money. Money wasn’t a problem,” Cullins said.

Nackawic Mayor Nancy Cronkhite said she only heard about the arrest through social media.

"I was not aware that this person even lived in Nackawic," Cronkhite stated in an email.

Van Nierop had previously been practising in Château-Chinon in Burgundy since 2008.

Local police started an investigation in May 2013, following numerous complaints from patients.

Nicole Martin, president of an association that represents van Nierop's alleged victims in Château-Chinon, said they are all "very happy" to hear about his arrest.

About 120 people were maimed by van Nierop's dodgy dentistry — "that we know of," Martin told CBC News through a friend, who was translating for her.

Martin said she was one of the luckier ones, having had two teeth pulled out when it was "not necessary."

But about 60 people were seriously injured, she said.

Château-Chinon had been without a dentist for about four years before van Nierop arrived, Martin said.