A number of investigations have been generated following an INTERPOL Victim Identification Task Force gathering specialized officers from 11 Asia Pacific countries, in a targeted effort to identify victims and offenders depicted in child sexual exploitation material.
Officers from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippine Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam spent two intensive weeks in early July analysing material selected by INTERPOL’s Crimes against Children (CAC) unit depicting yet unknown victims.
The task force’s specialized officers took a fine-tooth comb to more than 200 series of images, videos and audio files of abuse believed to have taken place in Asia, or showing Asian victims. Coordinated virtually, their efforts resulted in the identification of 130 abuse locations and intelligence packages were sent to the relevant INTERPOL member countries for investigation.
The meeting was also an opportunity to revisit ongoing cases. One such case involved images and videos appearing to take place in India. The files were originally uncovered in Belgium and uploaded to INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database by Europol. This allowed Australian officers to provide additional intelligence which INTERPOL included in a full referral package to India where police took action, making one arrest and identifying 27 young victims.
Authorities believe that seized materials will lead to further arrests in the weeks and months to come, and INTERPOL’s CAC unit will continue to support investigations.
The task force meetings are conducted under the auspices of the FACE Asia Project, funded by the South Korean National Police.