Canadian police say their investigation into a multi-million-dollar child sex abuse video website has led to the arrests of nearly 350 people internationally, including teachers, police officers, doctors and priests.
A total of 386 victims of the ring were rescued from harm worldwide, including six in Australia – five in Western Australia, and one in the ACT. The Australian suspects in the operation are aged between 25 and 72 and have been charged with a range of offences including accessing, possessing, producing and distributing online child exploitation material.
The Australian arrests included a Catholic priest, a former priest and two teachers, all from New South Wales. But Queensland is the state with the largest number of suspects, with 33 people facing charges ::::
“It is alleged that officers located hundreds of thousands of images detailing horrific acts against young children, some of the worst that they have ever viewed,” Toronto police spokeswoman Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said.
Arrests began in August during the Australian-based component of the operation, known as Operation Thunderer, with those charged facing a combined 399 charges of child exploitation offences.
The Australian suspects in the operation are aged between 25 and 72 and have been charged with a range of offences including accessing, possessing, producing and distributing online child exploitation material. They include a Catholic priest, a former priest and two teachers, all from New South Wales. But Queensland is the state with the largest number of suspects, with 33 people facing charges.
Every Image is a Crime Scene
The AFP’s head of Cyber Crime Operations, Commander Glen McEwen, says more arrests are expected as investigations continue.
“As you’d appreciate there’s a lot of forensic analysis that needs to be conducted in these types of investigations, and we are expecting more charges to be laid,” he said.
Commander McEwen said every child exploitation image found in the operation was a crime scene.
“Every piece of material is child sexual abuse and those who seek to access, produce and deal in such images are just as complicit in that abuse as the persons orchestrating the production of such material.
“This investigation is a powerful demonstration of what can and will continue to be achieved by law enforcement on a global scale to combat child sexual exploitation, protect our children and bring offenders to justice. The AFP and state and territory police worked relentlessly alongside international partner agencies to bring these offenders to justice,” Commander McEwen said. “This global investigation has disrupted a widespread international network of suspects, in a powerful demonstration of law enforcement working together to protect children around the world. If you choose to view and circulate child abuse images, you will be investigated, pursued and charged, regardless of where you are located.”
Canadian Man Ran the Multi-million-dollar Operation From a Warehouse
The investigation began after undercover officers made contact with Brian Way, a man suspected of sharing child exploitation material, in October 2010. The 42-year-old Toronto man’s home and business were raided seven months later and he was arrested and charged with operating a website that sold and distributed child exploitation.
Brian Way now faces charges of making, possessing, distributing and exporting child exploitation, featuring explicit images of boys ranging in age from toddlers to teens.
Police say he “paid various people to have children filmed (predominantly) in eastern European countries for the purpose of creating movies for sale on his website”, and that the videos were edited, packaged and sold from his Toronto warehouse.
The website, azovfilms.com, allegedly earned him more than $4 million annually.
The investigation led to the discovery of Way’s customer list, prompting investigations by authorities globally. Commander McEwen credited increasingly sophisticated technology for helping investigators quickly identify offenders.
“There’s a fair warning to offenders that if you are using the internet, if you are abusing children, if you are accessing child exploitation material, we will come and find you and we will prosecute you.”
Canadian police praised the work of Queensland Police and Australian Federal Police, with police service chief William Blair thanking international law enforcement agencies for their help in busting the exploitation ring.
“I think one of the most extraordinary things that we will speak to today is the national and international cooperation among law enforcement to deal with one of the most important challenges facing all of us in our society and certainly in law enforcement,” Mr Blair said. “There is no greater responsibility for those of us who have sworn to serve and protect than the protection of our children.”
Australia’s Justice Minister Michael Keenan also congratulated federal and state police for their work in a global investigation into a child exploitation website operating out of Canada.
“This is a fantastic result for law enforcement across the country with Australian police bringing numerous offenders to account and removing six children from harm,” Mr Keenan said. “The exploitation of our most vulnerable members of society cannot be tolerated. To prey on and exploit children is a horrific crime and those offenders must be brought to justice.”
RELATED! Operation Orion Nets 200 Child pornographers
A taskforce of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – ICE – Homeland Security Investigations – HSI – agents under the banner Operation Orian have arrested nearly 200 alleged child pornographers and rescued 18 minors during a month long investigation.
While the investigation identified only 18 minors, investigators said the number of victims could actually be in the hundreds and stressed the need for parents to be vigilant. ICE director John Morton, who headed up the taskforce said many of the cases started with a child or teenager “chatting with someone he or she met online,”
Operation Orion focused on the possession, distribution and production of pornographic images of children, leading to arrests across the United States as well as in Spain, Argentina, Britain and the Philippines :: Read the full article »»»»
ABC News Has a Brilliant Timeline on Arrests: click the date to read the full story.
June 2012: As part of Operation Orion, United States law enforcement agents arrest 190 people as part of a cross-border investigation into child pornography.
December 2011: Police in 22 European nations working as part of Operation Icarus arrest 112 suspects for allegedly sharing “the most extreme form” of online child abuse material.
June 2011: As part of a “virtual global taskforce” investigation, 11 Australian men are charged when the Australian Federal Police (AFP) breaks up an online child abuse ring. The arrests coincide with the announcement of the results of a similar investigation in the US, with more than two dozen New Yorkers charged over a child pornography ring.
December 2008: Police working in Operation Resistance arrest 19 Australian men in relation to a global internet child abuse network. The 12-month investigation was sparked by a tip-off from Brazilian police into a network believed to have more than 200 members in more than 70 countries.
August 2008: Six Australians face court charged with downloading child abuse images on a worldwide child pornography network. The four-month investigation was led by the London-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which referred the matter to the AFP.
June 2008: Ninety people are charged in an Australia-wide child pornography bust dubbed Operation Centurion. Forty were charged from Queensland alone as part of the six-month investigation between the AFP and state forces.
March 2008: A two-year investigation involving police from Australia, the United States, Europe and New Zealand lead to the arrest of 22 people for sharing violent and sexual material over the internet.
June 2007: Sixty-three people are arrested around the world, including four in Australia, as part of a global investigation into an internet chat room for paedophiles with members from 35 countries.
March 2006: Three Australians are among 27 people charged with child pornography offences in a global bust that also covers the US, Canada and the UK.
October 2004: More than 200 people are charged as part of Australia’s largest ever crackdown on child abuse material. The network, which is linked to organised crime groups in Europe, includes teachers, police and a childcare centre owner.
RELATED! 38 Year Old Internet Addict Sentenced to 3 Years Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
A South Australian computer technician who downloaded child pornography and frequented internet chatrooms in order to fulfil his impaired sexual fantasies about toddlers has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. 38 year old Steven John Bolbot, pleaded guilty to an aggravated count of possessing child pornography as well as two counts of producing child pornography.
The Adelaide District Court heard that South Australia Police officers searched Bolbot’s home in February 2012, during the search they found Bolbot using an internet chatroom, they also discovered 2,280 chat logs – of Bolbot role-playing and grooming – and found 246 images of child pornography on hard drives in his possession.
The court heard Bolbot’s social isolation and internet addiction led him to use chatrooms to explore his sexual fantasies about young children. It heard Bolbot was employed as a computer technician in 2009, He was however sacked as a result of the criminal charges.
Several researchers have reported correlations between paedophilia and certain psychological characteristics, such as low self-esteem and poor social skills. While we’ve spent quite a large amount of time outing paedophile behaviour – Paedophilia – there is a gathering body of evidence that describes this abominable behaviour as an illness.
Cohen et al – 2002 – in studying ‘Personality Impairment in Male Paedophiles‘ outlines a view of paedophiles as having impaired interpersonal functioning, elevated passive-aggressiveness, as well as an impaired self-concept. According to the authors, pathologic personality traits in paedophiles lend support to a hypothesis that such pathology is related to both motivation for and failure to inhibit paedophilia behaviour :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! New Website Names and Shames Child Sex Offenders
Our distaste for child abuse of any form has been well penned on these pages, it now seems that the interweb is catching up! Australia’s first public sex offenders register will go online later today, publishing the names and faces of known child sex offenders in Western Australia.
The names and faces of about 50 paedophiles will be published on the State Government website, which is being set up in fulfilment of a 2008 election pledge.
The launch is being closely watched by other states, but there are concerns it will prompt vigilantism and cases of mistaken identity.
The website will provide information on some of the state’s most dangerous and repeat child sex offenders, including their photos, names and the suburbs in which they live, although it will not give out specific addresses :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Remorseless South Australian Paedophile Robert Edwin Collins Jailed For Twelve Years
Remorseless South Australian paedophile Robert Edwin Collins, has described his crimes as “just a bit of fun” Collins has been jailed for at least six years.
Robert Edwin Collins, 61, was found guilty by an Adelaide jury of persistent sexual exploitation of a young girl in the 1980s. The District Court heard he constantly abused his victim throughout her childhood, the abuse started when she was just six years old.
The morbidly-obese man, who is confined to a wheelchair, initially argued he was too sick for jail. The paedophiles lawyer ordered medical reports to help clarify whether Collins could get appropriate care from Correctional Services and whether prison authorities could cope with him.
Judge Michael Boylan said it was clear the man’s needs could be met even though prison staff would have problems.
Judge Boylan said Collins had shown no remorse. ”When the victim challenged you many years later saying you were wrong for what you did … you replied ‘It was just a bit of fun’,” Judge Boylan said. ”Your answer to her on that occasion sums up the way you treated her, as a toy to be played with at your whim. It was extremely serious offending, it was prolonged and a gross breach of trust.” :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Hundreds of Paedophiles Netted in International Sting
Hundreds of paedophiles prowling on the internet have been identified in an operation in 141 countries, Austrian Federal Police said. In Austria alone, operation “Carole” found 272 suspects, making it the biggest ever police sweep against child pornography in the small country.
The investigations, which lasted almost a year, began in Luxembourg when the operator of a root server based there reported two websites containing large quantities of child pornography to the authorities. Chief Inspector Harald Gremel, the operations coordinating officer, said Austrian Federal Police were alerted by Luxembourg authorities after they found child pornography was being watched worldwide from several Luxembourg-based home pages.
The website’s files, indicating a worldwide clientele, were seized by police and passed on to investigators in 141 countries, Austrian police said, without elaborating on the countries or the number of people involved.
The 272 Austrian suspects, all male and aged 17 to 70, came from all types of background and professions, including teachers and kindergarten staff. All of them were found in possession of paedophile images or videos. In two cases actual abuse of children could be proven, police said.
Searches at the suspects’ homes turned up vast amounts of material, which is currently being examined. Many of the suspects are thought to be from Vienna. Police declined to say whether investigations were continuing outside of Austria.
In March 2011, an Europol sweep identified 670 suspects and made 184 arrests in what was then the biggest case of its kind. In June of this year, law enforcement agents in the United States arrested 190 people in a cross-border – Operation Orion – investigation into child pornography.
RELATED! ONLINE SECURITY! Remember Where Your Children Are
The internet is an integral part of our lives, it takes up a substantial amount of our time, we work through it, spend leisure time on it. It’s an ease to forget that this place is unreal, that all is not what it seems.
For those with children, it’s a huge concern
There is no way of telling who your children are conversing with, not for you nor for them, that your children are secretive is a given. Those who are intent on doing your children harm are also secretive, this is the daunting prospect all parents must cope with.
National Family Week “Families Make All the Difference” kicks off on May 15 this year , coinciding with the United Nations “International Day of the Families” also May 15. So what does this have to do with Online Security? Everything! Families are THE best security system for you to protect your children from online harm, from nefarious internet predators. Families enable us to create a safe, enjoyable and educational place for children to be :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! US Man Convicted of Sextortion Involving Minors Sentenced to 33 Years
A Maryland man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Indianapolis to seven counts of child pornography production and was sentenced to 33 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett of the Southern District of Indiana.
Trevor J. Shea, 21, of Mechanicsburg, Maryland, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence in the US Federal Court, Southern District of Indiana. During the plea and sentencing hearing, Shea admitted to using blackmail to coerce 10 minor girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years to produce images and videos of themselves engaging in sadistic and masochistic abuse and other sexually explicit conduct.
According to court documents, the case arose from an investigation by the Brownsburg, Ind., Police Department, which received a complaint in late September 2009 that Victim One, a 16-year-old girl, was being stalked via the internet. Victim One and a family member reported that several months earlier, Jane Doe 1 and two other female minors visited an online webcam site where they exposed their breasts to unknown webcam viewers.
Approximately one week later, Victim One began receiving emails and instant messages from Shea, who threatened to post the nude images of Victim One and her friends to the internet. Shea told Victim One that if she produced more images and/or webcam videos for him, he would not post the photos for others to see. Victim One complied with some of these demands, and produced images and videos of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct. She then transmitted the images and videos to him :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Google Maps Highlights UTA Flight 772 Memorial
I’d love to say ‘I STUMBLED UPON THIS‘ however, I didn’t. My facebook buddy Ben Frost did, it’s now gone completely viral!
On Tuesday, 19 September 1989 a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft registered N54629/UTA Flight 772 took off from N’Djamena International Airport at 13:13.
46 minutes later, at its cruising altitude of 10,700 metres/35,100 ft, a bomb explosion caused UTA Flight 772 to break up over the Sahara Desert near the towns of Bilma and Ténéré in Niger. All 155 passengers and 15 crew members died.
The victims came from 18 different countries, the majority being French or Congolese nationals: 54 French, 48 nationals of People’s Republic of Congo, 25 Chadians, 9 Italians, 7 Americans, 5 Cameroonians, 4 Britons, 3 nationals of Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 3 Canadians, 2 Central Africans, 2 Malians, 2 Swiss, 1 Algerian, 1 Bolivian, 1 Belgian, 1 Greek, 1 Moroccan and 1 Senegalese.
On the flight deck were Captain Georges Raveneau, as instructor; First Officer Jean-Pierre Hennequin in training; safety pilot Michel Crézé; and Flight Engineer Alain Bricout. In the cabin were Pursers Jean-Pierre Baschung and Michele Vasseur, along with Flight Attendants Alain Blanc, Laurence de Boery-Penon, Martine Brette, Anne Claisse, Nicole Deblicker, Ethery Lenoble, Gael Lugagne, Veronique Marella, Jean-Pierre Mauboussin.
The rest of this story might simply be legend, whatever, it is one of the most touching pictorial stories doing the interweb rounds. Check the gallery, it truly is moving :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! US Arrests Man at NYC JFK with Uranium in Shoes
Patrick Campbell, 33, who was arrested on Wednesday as he arrived at the John F Kennedy airport from Paris, is accused of trying to act as an intermediary to sell Iran 1,000 tonnes of purified uranium, in violation of US law.
Campbell made an initial court appearance in New York on Thursday. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine if he is found guilty of violating US sanctions against Iran as well as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Sierra Leone-based Campbell had been under surveillance since May 2012, when he responded to an ad on the site Alibaba.com by someone looking to buy uranium 308, or yellow cake :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! NSW to Consider Chemical Castration in Sex Crime Review
Chemical castration is among the alternative sentencing options for child sex offenders being considered by a New South Wales parliamentary committee. The controversial option has been put forward by the Premier Barry O’Farrell.
The committee will investigate whether current sentencing is effective, in an effort to restore public confidence in the states legal system. The move comes after a man was given a non-custodial – three year good behaviour bond – sentence for raping his daughter.
Chemical castration is the administration of medication designed to reduce libido and sexual activity. Unlike surgical castration, where the testicles or ovaries are removed permanently, chemical castration does not actually castrate the person, nor is it a form of sterilization. In most cases the administration of chemical castration is an ongoing treatment.
Chemical castration is generally considered reversible when treatment is discontinued, or the patient ceases medicating. Dubbo MP Troy Grant, who is set to chair the committee, says there has been widespread discontent with the states sentencing regime for violent crimes :: Read the full article »»»»