A Catholic priest who fled Canada more than 15 years ago after being accused of sex crimes against Inuit children is on his way back.

Officials have confirmed that Eric Dejaeger, who is 63, has boarded a plane in Belgium and is returning to Canada.

RCMP officers have said that Dejaeger will be met upon his arrival and taken to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where he will be held in custody to face trial.

Dejaeger faces six charges of sex assault against four individuals who were children in the tiny community of Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

Dejaeger, who is originally from Belgium, became a Canadian in the 1970s, but fled to the land of his birth in 1995 after he was charged.

He had pleaded guilty in 1990 to another series of sex crimes against children and was sentenced to five years in jail.