- A Cape Town woman has appeared in court for allegedly selling pornographic images of her daughter.
- The woman was traced through the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security.
- The partnership has resulted in a number of previous arrests.
A partnership between local police and US authorities has resulted in the arrest of a 32-year-old Cape Town woman on Thursday after she allegedly sold naked photographs of her 4-year-old daughter on the dark web.
"The FBI picked this up on the internet and an agent from the homeland security [department] acted as a buyer and traced her to Bonteheuwel via geotagging," said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.
The woman allegedly received payment via PayPal.
The accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, hasn't applied for bail yet.
She is expected to appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court again on 19 August.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed the arrest and said the woman faced charges of manufacturing of child pornography, possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, financial gain from child pornography and rape.
Western Cape social development department spokesperson Josh Chigome said he was aware of the case.
However, for safety reasons, Chigome declined to release any details about the child's whereabouts or condition.
He added that in such cases, the department would usually intervene and put the child in a temporary safe home. The child will stay there until the court decides whether he or she can go back home or if he or she needs to be put in a permanent safe home.
News24 previously reported that the US had, through its Homeland Security International (HSI) Operations Division, assisted more than a dozen cases in South Africa since October 2020.
In one month alone, four arrests were made in different areas of South Africa with the help of Homeland Security.
One of these was the arrest of a 48-year-old Overberg farmer in connection with a child pornography case, during a joint operation by local police and officers from the Department of Homeland Security outside Swellendam.
The search warrant was executed after the Department of Homeland Security secured intelligence that the farmer frequented an American online chatroom where participants share explicit sexual talks and footage of minors.
He is out on bail, under strict conditions, and is expected to appear in the Swellendam Magistrate's Court again on 28 July.
The Cape Town case comes only days after Clinton Mark Calder was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Wynberg Regional Court, after he was convicted of more than 3 000 charges relating to the distribution, importation and creation of child pornography.
Calder was arrested in 2015 and was found in possession of 3 215 child abuse images. He was part of an international child pornography network that led law officials worldwide to trace and expose peer-to-peer file-sharing child pornography offenders, the court heard.
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