South Africa 22.8.2013 06:50 am

International child porn syndicate bust

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

An organisation against child abuse yesterday welcomed any more arrests of perpetrators who possess child pornography. “Images of children being raped and tortured, once distributed on the Internet, are impossible to delete,” said the spokesman for Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA), Germaine Vogel.

This followed the recent arrest of six people across the country allegedly linked to an international child-pornography syndicate.

WMACA commended both local and international police for “effectively” infiltrating and busting those involved.

The NPO’s Vincentia Dlamini-Ngobese said harsher sentences needed to be introduced to South Africa’s judicial system. “This is not a light crime. There are large numbers of children missing and they could be used for these terrifying acts,” she said.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale confirmed the arrest of six men across four provinces in the country. This followed a tip-off from Interpol. The men arrested were described by police as a Nelspruit primary school principal, 46, a Carletonville teacher, 46, a retired school principal from Gauteng, 63, a KZN IT expert, 46, and a businessman, 49, from the North West.

“The arrests came after the police successfully obtained search warrants for 15 residences across the country,” Makgale said.

They were still to determine whether the children were foreign or if South African children were “used” as well. Police are in the process of obtaining more search warrants for the arrest of more suspects.

The primary school principal, who is also a published author, was released on R1 000 bail after appearing at the White River Magistrate’s Court last week.

Prosecutor Elbe Basson said the man was found in possession of DVDs containing alleged child pornography images. She said police had also seized his laptops.

He is expected to appear in court on September 19.

 

today in print