Authorities have uncovered so-called dark websites while smashing an international child-porn ring and arresting dozens of suspects over the last two years, the chief of Thailand’s Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) task force said Thursday.
Online child-sex abuse has increased, leading investigators to bring charges against 73 people and seize assets of more than 800 million baht (U.S. $25 million) from the suspects during a two-year period dating to December 2015, police Gen. Thammasak Witcharaya, the task force’s chief, told reporters.
Thammasak said investigators had filed charges in 21 human trafficking cases, 13 child-sex abuse cases and 31 child pornography cases along with six deportations. During the last two years, 38 Thai nationals and 35 foreigners including 13 American, six British and five Australian citizens have been convicted, he said.
“There were many factors to allow such crimes to occur,” Thammasak told BenarNews, adding, “children can access the internet very easily.”
In October 2017, the chief of the U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) global cybercrime program, called Thailand the “webcam center for child pornography.” Neil Walsh said the proliferation of smart phones in Thailand allowed easy access to illicit websites even in rural areas.
Child pornography online is a growing concern, Thammasak said.
“We have to approach this with an offensive strategy because people are interested in this are addicted to social media and will always look for it,” he said. “Arresting them will decrease demand, which is our goal.”
“Whoever possesses child pornography likely will be involved with human trafficking eventually.”
Full story: BenarNews
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