Suspect of sharing exceptionally violent child pornography in custody longer

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Driebergen – A 57-year-old man from Zoetermeer will be detained longer for sharing violent images of child sexual abuse via Telegram. The court in Dordrecht decided this on April 5 during a first public hearing. The suspect was arrested on January 30, 2024. The case is characterized by extreme child pornography material that stuns even the most experienced detectives.

On October 16, 2023, detectives from the Combating Child Pornography and Sex Tourism Team of the National Investigation and Intervention Unit received a report from abroad that the Dutch suspect is believed to have recently distributed child pornography material from the dark web via Telegram. The investigation, including the contents of his phone, shows that the 57-year-old man is a member of dozens of Telegram groups where child pornography is shared and is the administrator of a number of them. Some groups have as many as 1,500 members. Due to the many criminal messages circulating on Telegram and other encrypted chat applications, they are also seen as the new dark web.

No limits

For example, in one of the Telegram groups where members share violent child pornography, the condition of ‘no limits’ applies. ‘That is significant and unfortunately appears to be true. This case concerns unprecedentedly violent photos and videos with very young children. What we have encountered is footage that is out of the ordinary. It makes even the most experienced child pornography investigators feel sick,” said Linda van den Oever, national prosecutor for child pornography and child sex tourism.

Unlike the dark web, Telegram is a simple, accessible way to share such criminal material from a phone. “We are increasingly seeing a shift from the dark web to encrypted chat apps such as Telegram,” the public prosecutor said.

Punishable

International investigation services work closely together in the fight against (online) sexual child abuse. They do everything they can to unmask online users who believe they are unwatched. For example, the man from Zoetermeer could be quickly identified and arrested after a report from abroad. ‘Behind all these pictures are real children who are victims of serious sexual violence. The images of this will continue to circulate online and in these types of groups forever. Being a member of groups where such material is shared is punishable,” Van den Oever emphasizes.

Research in full swing

In addition to child pornography, the groups of the suspect from Zoetermeer also contain numerous other violent videos of, among other things, beheadings. The police investigation is still in full swing, including into the personality of the suspect.

The substantive treatment is expected to start this summer.

Information source: Politie.nl

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