A JOINT operation between detectives from the South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in Gauteng and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has
resulted in the arrest of an Eastern Cape man for possession, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography.
The 53 year old suspect was arrested at his home in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, on Wednesday (2015/03/11) by the detective team mentioned above. During the raid at his house investigators found 16 hard drives,
a laptop, two video cameras and two cameras. He appeared in the Grahamstown Magistrate’s Court today (2015/03/12) where he was granted R40, 000, 00 bail and he is due to appear again in that court on 28
April 2015. There is a likelihood that the accused may be extradited to the United States as his victims and users of his services are from that country, to face charges there.
The accused’s alleged criminal activities attracted the attention of the authorities in the US after seven people were arrested using specific websites whose core activities were to lure innocent children
to engage in pornographic activities. The modus operandi of the people using the website was to create a false profile on popular social media websites purporting to be young teenagers in order to lure their
victims. Once they got the attention of these children, users, also pretending to be children in the same age brackets as their victims, persuaded their victims to engage in sexually explicit activity. What the victims were also not aware of was that they were being secretly recorded by web camera.
Upon further investigation the FBI team, using the logs of the IP addresses those people had visited, found that the website was being administered from somewhere in South Africa. By then about 600 victims aged between eight and thirteen , the majority of whom are from the United States, had been exploited via these websites.