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.

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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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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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Developing Inter-agency Cooperation Across Western Africa to Combat Counterfeiting Focus of INTERPOL Training

June 23, 2011

INTERPOL on June 23, 2011 released the following:

“LAGOS, Nigeria – Identifying methods to improve regional cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the private sector was the focus of training seminar delivered by INTERPOL’s Intellectual Property Rights programme in Nigeria.

The three-day event (20-22 June) supported by the Nigerian Police with participants from Benin and Burkina Faso brought together more than 50 officials from police, customs, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigeria Copyright Commission. The training included methodology in identifying, targeting and dismantling transnational organized crime groups involved in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit goods.

In addition to Intellectual property crime experts from Nigeria and abroad (US Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement), representatives from the private sector also shared their experience and specialist knowledge as part of the seminar.

Organized with the support of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the three-day event is one of a series coordinated by INTERPOL throughout the word and is aimed at providing a stepping stone in developing inter-agency and cross-border cooperation to combat counterfeiting and all types of Intellectual Property crime.”

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