A man, who posed as a teenager to lure underage girls to a chat group where child pornography was distributed and shared, is among three child online sexual predators who have been arrested in a joint operation by the SAPS Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit and the USA Department of Homelands Security in the past week.
This brings the total number of child online sexual predators that have been arrested since November to seven.
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The other four were arrested in November last year. Three were arrested in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal. These arrests form part of an international operation to trace manufacturers, users, and distributors of child pornography. The three suspects were arrested in Worcester, Kraaifontein and Mitchell’s Plain.
According to police spokesperson, Brig A Mathe, a 53-year-old man from Worcester was the first to be arrested on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. He has so far been found with 95, 000 images and 6, 000 videos of child pornography. He faces a charge of accessing, distributing and possession of child pornography.
The second accused, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Kraaifontein on Thursday, January 18, 2024. In his possession, he was found with more than 149, 000 pictures of child pornography as well as more than 5, 000 videos.
He was found in possession of two unlicensed firearms and various calibre of ammunition, as well as nine snakes of which three did not have a permit. He is facing charges of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, possession, distribution and accessing to child pornography.
A 32-year-old man from Mitchell’s Plain was the third accused to be arrested. He was found to be chatting and luring underage girls into chat groups where nude pictures were exchanged.
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“All accused appeared in various courts such as Worcester, Kraaifontein and Mitchells Plain where their cases were postponed for further investigation,” said Brig Mathe.
This operation would not have been successful without the following role players, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of WC, NPA, Cape Nature, and SPCA.