SA child porn arrests 'tip of the iceberg'

2013-08-22 10:08
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Johannesburg - A child porn ring that has seen the arrests of six professionals, including the former principal of a high profile Mpumalanga school, is “far bigger than anyone imagined”.

This was according to a police source who told The Times that those arrested have links to other paedophile rings.

"It is far bigger than anyone imagined. It has links to suspected paedophile rings across the world. None of those on the team ever imagined it would be this big, that it would stretch this wide and involve so many."

The source told the newspaper that what police have found is also “just the tip of the iceberg” and involves many people in positions of trust.

"The race is now on to catch these people and to try and find those they are thought to have harmed before it is too late. At this stage no one knows what has happened to the hundreds of children depicted in these images and films," he said.

The former principal, who is also an award-winning author, was dismissed after being arrested for his connection to the child porn syndicate.

We won’t abandon him - sister

On Wednesday, the man’s sister told The Times that his family wanted the law to take its course.

"As family and friends we stand 100% behind our brother and son and believe totally in his innocence and support and love him.

"We will not abandon him," she said.

A total of six professionals have appeared in courts throughout the country for child pornography. The six included two teachers and a retired principal, a lawyer, a dermatologist, and a businessman.

Police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said the accused were arrested in Lichtenburg, Bloemfontein, White River, Douglasdale, Florida, and Potchefstroom.

At the weekend, police raided several homes in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Free State.

Among the items seized were 672 DVDs, 22 memory sticks, eight laptops, two computer tablets, 39 external hard drives, and 25 books containing child porn.

The Times reported the case had links to Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Western Europe, and Australasia.

It reported that children as young as 5 were believed to have been groomed to have sex with each other and adults.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  child abuse  |  pornography
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