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Aussie Child In Porn Ring

An Australian child has been rescued from a global internet pedophile ring, after police conducted an online child abuse sting that spanned 35 countries.
The ring involves 700 people, four of them Australians, who used a chat room to swap pornographic photos and watch live video of children being sexually abused.
30 other children around the world, ranging from babies to early teens, have been removed from harm in the biggest ever online child abuse sting that was centred in Britain but spanned 35 countries over the past 10 months.
The four Australians from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia one of whom has already been convicted are among hundreds of people arrested or charged so far.
Police are continuing to investigate 700 worldwide users of the site, known as "Kids the Light of Our Lives".
British authorities revealed last night the host of the site, Timothy David Martyn Cox, 27, of Buxhall in Suffolk, who used the online identity "Son of God," had 75,000 still images of children on his computer and 1100 videos lasting 316 hours showing child abuse.
The operation followed a tip-off from Canadian police last year, which led to British police identifying the ringleader as Cox, a single man who ran the pedophile chat room from his bedroom in his parents' farm house in a village near Ipswich.
On September 28 last year, British police burst into Cox's home, arrested him and used his computer to assume his identity online in order to identify the people around the world who had been trading child abuse images through his chat room.
For the next 10 days the police impersonated Cox, tricking hundreds of his associates, who used the chat room to swap images and to ask each other to abuse children live online.
Cox pleaded guilty yesterday to 29 charges and was sentenced to stay in jail until he is deemed no longer a threat to children.
In January this year, the operation resumed when one of Cox's "lieutenants" in running the chat room, 32-year-old Gordon Mackintosh from Hertfordshire, resurrected the chat room.
For this sting, three agents from the Australian Federal Police flew to London and worked with Canadian, British and US police to identify more suspects.
Mackintosh, the manager of a video-streaming company, who lived alone, was also arrested and police spent three days impersonating him online.
He has also pleaded guilty to child abuse charges and is awaiting sentencing.
The head of the British police co-ordinating the operation, Jim Gamble, said Mackintosh had been distributing such material "for at least a couple of years".
Mr Gamble said the two sting operations were the most significant joint online operations conducted by police in Britain, the US, Canada and Australia.
He said it was the most successful attempt to impersonate a ringleader of sexual predators in order to identify people swapping child abuse images online.
"I don't even have the rhetoric to explain to you how significant this is (because such criminals) are now taking a hell of a chance by using such sites in the future," Mr Gamble said.
"If you go online and do this, we will track you down. These pedophiles shared information about how you could get real kids and how to avoid detection."
Mr Gamble said most of the 31 children who had been rescued were in Britain but one had been taken to safety in an undisclosed location in Australia.
He said the victims ranged "from babies months old to teens".
Cox and Mackintosh were both unmarried with no children and no previous records of child abuse.
Police in Britain and elsewhere are now pursuing hundreds of criminal cases as a result of the operation and trying to identify many of the victims abused in the photographs and videos.
AFP agent Paul Morris said officers were still investigating other cases beyond the four local men caught up in the sting.
Users of the chat room had to have a series of keys and codes or passwords to enter before they could see and exchange graphic pornographic images.

Herald Sun (19-6-2007)


 

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Pedophile Arrests 'Tip Of Iceberg'

The four arrests and one conviction in Australia from the smashing of a global internet pedophile ring were the "tip of the iceberg" and more arrests will follow, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said today.
AFP assistant commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said the four Australian men arrested in South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria were simply the easiest to track.
"This is not over yet by a long shot. These arrests are just the tip of the iceberg," he said on Southern Cross radio.
British police said overnight that the smashing of the pedophile ring had resulted in the rescue of 31 children and the rounding up of more than 700 suspects in 35 countries.
Mr Quaedvlieg said the rescued children came from first and third world countries, but none were from Australia.
One of the Australians arrested has been convicted of child pornography offences and jailed for seven months, while two others are still before the courts.
"We have a whole host of material that we are working through. We will identify more internet protocol addresses and there will be more arrests," Mr Quaedvlieg said.
Three Australian detectives joined colleagues around the world to work undercover with the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, posing as the host of an internet chat room called Kids the Light of Our Lives.
Mr Quaedvlieg said the site featured "real-time" video streaming of child sexual abuse, as well as still images of the prepubescent and pubescent victims.
"It was absolutely shocking. They were being streamed in a live webcam arrangement, and hence we couldn't run this operation for any length of time because these children had to be removed from these positions of risk," he said.
"This was almost like an exclusive club. It's not a site that you could stumble across accidentally on the web. You need some sort of key or access number to access the site."
Authorities said the host of the website, Timothy David Martyn Cox, 27, who used the online identity "Son of God", had admitted to nine counts of possessing and distributing indecent images.
After his arrest in September, authorities were able to infiltrate the chat room for 10 days and collect evidence on the other members.
The chat room was formerly operating in Toronto, Canada, before it was resurrected in the UK by Cox.

The Australian (19-6-2007)
Peter Wilson/ Natalie O'Brien

Pedophile Ring Reached Australia

The smashing of a global Internet pedophile ring has led to four arrests and one conviction so far in Australia, police said today.
British police said overnight the smashing of the pedophile ring had resulted in the rescue of 31 children and the rounding up of more than 700 suspects in 35 countries.
The UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said about 200 suspects were based in Britain and that the ring was traced to an Internet chat room called Kids the Light of Our Lives that featured images of children being subjected to horrific sexual abuse.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesman Assistant Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg (Quaedvlieg) said the force's online child sex exploitation team had been involved.
"In Australia, Operation Lobate has led to the execution of five search warrants, the arrest of four people and the conviction of one person on child pornography offences. Another two people are before the courts," Assistant Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.
He said Operation Lobate began in December last year, when the AFP was asked by UK police to conduct a joint investigation into users of a known pedophile chat room.
"During this operation, working with state and territory police, the AFP seized laptops, hard drives and MP3 players," Assistant Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.
"Of particular concern was the quantity of pornographic images of children discovered during these raids."
He said several investigations were continuing.
"These arrests are a stark reminder to parents and children to remain vigilant regarding who they pass on personal details to via the Internet, even in seemingly innocent chat rooms," he said.

AAP (19-6-2007)





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