The South African Police Service (SAPS) Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit has, in collaboration with the USA Department of Homelands Security, arrested three child online sexual predators in Gauteng.
The trio was arrested in a simultaneous takedown operation in the past week, relating to a number of suspects who were identified as South African users who are involved in the possession, distribution, manufacturing, accessing and downloading of child pornography.
Members of the SECI at Head Office and in Gauteng conducted the preliminary investigations on the users, and various provinces were identified where the suspects reside.
After several months of investigation and planning by SECI, perpetrators were identified in Gauteng and a joint Operation was planned.
In Springs, Gauteng police arrested a 63-year-old male British citizen, who was found to be in the country illegally. The suspect faces offences related to bestiality. Other offences are related to child pornography such as possession and distribution of child pornography.
The second suspect, who is a 43-year-old South African male, was arrested in Benoni, Gauteng. The suspect also faces offences relating to child pornography.
The third suspect, a 43-year-old South African male, suspect was arrested in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. He too faces charges relating to child pornography.
As a result of these operations, three South African children, who were used during the commission of the above offences, were identified and a dog was saved.
The operations will continue throughout the country to unravel a network of child sexual predators.
The trio has already appeared before various courts including Springs, Benoni and Krugersdorp Magistrates Court in Gauteng on Monday. Their cases were postponed for further investigation and bail applications.
SECI is a unit within the 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. – SAnews.gov.za
There has been a tenfold increase in sexual abuse imagery created with webcams and other recording devices worldwide since 2019, according to the the Internet Watch Foundation.
Social media sites and chatrooms are the most common methods used to facilitate contact with kids, and abuse occurs both online and offline. Increasingly, predators are using advances in technology to engage in technology-facilitated sexual abuse.
Once having gained access to a child’s webcam, a predator can use it to record, produce and distribute child pornography.
We are criminologists who study cybercrime and cybersecurity. Our current research examines the methods online predators use to compromise children’s webcams. To do this, we posed online as children to observe active online predators in action.