Online child sexual predator arrested | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

The SAPS and the Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) Unit, in collaboration with the USA Department of Homeland Security, recently arrested four online child sexual predators, one of whom was nabbed in Springs.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said three of the predators were arrested in Gauteng in a simultaneous takedown operation in the past week.

Mathe said the trio is related to several suspects identified as South African users involved in the possession, distribution, manufacturing, accessing, and downloading of child pornography.

Members of the SECI at their head office and in Gauteng conducted preliminary investigations on the users and various provinces that were identified in which the suspects reside.

After several months of investigation and planning by SECI, they identified perpetrators in Gauteng and planned a joint operation.

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In Springs, the police arrested a 63-year-old male British citizen who was in the country illegally. The suspect faces offences related to bestiality.

Other offences he is accused of are related to child pornography such as possession, distribution, accessing, downloading, facilitating, viewing, facilitating the distribution and making available child pornography, exposure of a child to adult and child pornography and the grooming of a child.

The second and third suspects, 43-year-old South African men, were arrested in Benoni and Krugersdorp respectively.

These suspects also face offences relating to child pornography such as possession, distribution, accessing, downloading, facilitating, viewing and facilitating distribution and also making child pornography available in their own right.

As a result of these operations, three South African children used during the commission of the above offences were identified and they saved a dog. The operations will continue throughout the country to unravel a network of child sexual predators.

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The three men appeared before various courts, including Springs, Benoni, and Krugersdorp Magistrates Courts, on November 20. Their cases were postponed for further investigation, and bail applications were denied.

Following the arrest of the trio, a fourth suspect was arrested at a flat in Umbilo, Kwa-Zulu Natal, on November 16. The 60-year-old man was found with thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

“He forms part of the 27 online child sexual predators that have been identified in South Africa by a joint international operation led by the SAPS’ SECI unit and the USA Department of Homeland Security,” Mathe said.

• SECI is a unit within the SAPS detectives divisions under the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Investigations (FCS) unit.

The unit members are responsible for investigating, tracing and apprehending serial rapists and electronic crimes relating to online child sexual exploitation.

On behalf of SAPS, Mathe called on parents to monitor their children’s devices, such as tablets and phones, on a daily basis to prevent more children from becoming victims of such criminal activities.

“We also encourage parents to install parental software and apps that are able to block harmful content on chats and apps.”

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