Interpol targets 55 suspects using social network sites for child sex abuse images

May 23, 2012

CNN on May 22, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — An Interpol investigation into social networking groups exchanging child abuse material has targeted 55 key suspects in 20 countries, including the United States, and 12 children have been identified and removed from harm, the agency said Tuesday.

An unspecified number of the suspects have been arrested, said Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization.

The international operation, which targeted child sexual abusers trading online images, identified suspects in 19 other countries: Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, and Venezuela, Interpol said.

The covert online investigation began in October 2010 in New Zealand, where authorities alerted Interpol’s crimes against children team after discovering Facebook, Socialgo and grou.ps were being used to exchange significant amounts of “abusive and exploitative pictures,” Interpol said in a statement.

Working with U.S. authorities, the Interpol inquiry found about 80 groups “engaged in the display or distribution of previously seen and unseen child sexual abuse images,” Interpol said.

Facebook officials assisted the investigation after authorities identified key targets and their associated groups, Interpol said.

Maarten Quivooy, general manager of New Zealand’s Regulatory Compliance Operations, said the Internet destroys jurisdictional boundaries and that protecting children is now a global responsibility.

“Trading in or viewing these images is … offending because it involves real children often being abused both in real time and over time, and when these images of children being sexually abused are released onto the Internet, they live on forever,” Quivooy said in a statement.

“Terms such as kiddiporn and child pornography make the physical sexual abuse of a child appear consenting. No child is capable of consenting to sexual activity — therefore all sexual depiction of children is abuse,” he said.

Mick Moran, the head of Interpol’s crimes against children unit, said the operation highlighted international cooperation.

“While disrupting these networks is a significant part of the investigation, what is more important is that innocent children and in some cases babies have been rescued from physical abuse,” Moran said in a statement.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said his agency will “work tirelessly with our international law enforcement partners to protect children wherever they live and to bring justice to criminals wherever they operate.”

The 55 suspects allegedly created groups that posted images of children under age 13 being abused, Interpol said.”

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

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Vietnam police chief’s visit to INTERPOL focuses on role of international police cooperation in boosting regional security

September 28, 2011

INTERPOL on September 20, 2011 released the following:

“LYON, France – Vietnam’s Director General of Police, Maj. Gen. Phan Van Vinh, has met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters to discuss security measures aimed at enhancing international cooperation against transnational crime.

With Hanoi soon hosting the 80th INTERPOL General Assembly (31 October – 3 November), the visit by Vietnam’s police chief reviewed key transnational organized crime issues such as human trafficking and child sexual abuse. It also saw the announcement that Vietnam is to second a police officer to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters for the first time. The Vietnamese police officer will be joining the world police body’s specialist Crimes Against Children unit.

In this respect, Maj. Gen. Phan said “Vietnam is proud to second its first ever officer to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat. Countering transnational crime threats today, including crimes against children, requires collaboration via INTERPOL’s global law enforcement network at the national, regional and international level.”

“International police cooperation with Vietnam is vital not just for the security of its citizens but also for Southeast Asia and beyond the region, at a time when globalization has seen the expansion and diversification of transnational crime,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Vietnam’s decision to second an officer to INTERPOL’s General secretariat demonstrates its commitment to support international police cooperation and its understanding that the transnational crime threats which are faced by every country cannot be dealt with in isolation,” added the head of INTERPOL.

Mr Noble cited Vietnam’s involvement in projects against Asian organized crime networks, including Operations SOGA I (2007) and SOGA II (2008) against soccer gambling, as further examples of Vietnam’s active involvement in international police collaboration. Both operations resulted in more than 1,200 arrests and the seizure of cash and assets worth some USD 17 million.

Extending access to INTERPOL’s global police tools and services beyond INTERPOL’s National central Bureau in Hanoi also topped the agenda during Maj. Gen. Phan’s visit, which included a review of progress on the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation due to open in Singapore in early 2014, as well as of the INTERPOL Travel Document which will facilitate the international travel of INTERPOL officials when assisting in transnational investigations or urgent deployments.

Vietnam’s police chief was accompanied by Dang Xuan Khang, Head of NCB Hanoi; Tran Duy Thanh, Director of Anti-Corruption Department; Nguyen Duc Chung, Deputy Director of Hanoi Metropolitan Police; and Nguyen Huu Ngoc, Deputy Director of Information and Database Centre on Transnational Crime, NCB Hanoi.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International experts meet to collaborate against child sexual predators

September 9, 2011

INTERPOL on September 9, 2011 released the following:

“The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), one of the world’s largest international child protection taskforces, met at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France this week to explore new techniques to protect children from online sexual abuse.

Experts from all nine international VGT law enforcement agencies were at the two-day meeting (8 – 9 September), which followed a three-day gathering of the INTERPOL specialist group on crimes against children which brought together experts from 52 countries.

Chair of the VGT and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, presented to the specialist group, emphasising that law enforcement can not prosecute its way out of this crime in isolation.

“Part of the answer to combating online child sexual exploitation lies in forging greater international partnerships, particularly cooperation with industry, the private sector and non government organisations.

“Through the Virtual Global Taskforce and our partners we can identify strategies to jointly combat this horrendous crime and bring these predators to justice,” Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.

One of the highlights of Assistant Commissioner Gaughan’s presentation was the announcement of the VGT draft resolution proposed for the 80th INTERPOL General Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam later in the year.

The specialist group were briefed on the proposal which derived from the 2010 VGT conference outcome, to assist and guide countries around the world requiring child protection legislation. The group supported the proposal and acknowledged the work undertaken by the VGT collaboration.

The specialist group throughout the three-day deliberations also addressed the use of Green Notices, an INTERPOL tool developed to assist in the identification of travelling sex offenders, preventing offending around the world.

The issue has previously been raised with the VGT and: ‘under appropriate circumstances the VGT supports the proportionate use of INTERPOL Green Notices for suspected or convicted individuals of child sex offences travelling outside of their home country, giving due considerations to individual legislative and administrative constraints. The VGT further recommends that countries who experience legislative and administrative constraints with the issuance of Green Notices work towards reform that will allow their use.’

New VGT industry partners include The End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes network (ECPAT International), International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Members of the VGT include the Australian Federal Police, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (UK), the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Italian Postal and Communication Police Service, INTERPOL, Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand Police and Europol.

The VGT was established in 2003 to fight online child abuse, and aims to dismantle global online child sexual exploitation networks, coordinate covert internet investigations, share and develop intelligence and target child sex offenders.

The VGT website was re-launched in June, streamlining the Report Abuse function, which now allows any person anywhere in the world to report suspected online child abuse by directly linking them to the relevant VGT member agency’s reporting web page or email address. For more information, visit http://www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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