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Ukraine Police Bust Child Porn Ring

Ukraine Police Bust Child Porn Ring
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Jul 29, 2004 8:30 AM PDT    Text size: 
KIEV, Ukraine — Police in the former Soviet republic of the Ukraine have closed down a so-called modeling agency that photographed up to 1,500 female minors. The images were then transmitted to North America over the Internet, said Vitaly Yarema deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s crime investigation unit.

Police questioned 15 people, and confiscated computers, video equipment, financial documents, and images of children. The girls were reportedly as young as 8-years-old. Authorities also froze the agency’s bank account, and seized a sports car belonging to one of the suspects.

According to a Reuters report, in addition to the capital of Kiev, the agency had offices in two other Ukrainian cities. The police action is reportedly part of the Ukraine’s biggest anti-child pornography offensive ever. Ukrainian police worked with the FBI for months on the case.

Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, many workers have been thrust into poverty. Some have turned towards the illicit sex trade in order to make a living, while others have gone on to profiteer from it. Organized crime has spread across the former U.S.S.R.

Joan Irvine, executive director of Adult Sites Against Child Pornography, told XBiz: “For years much of the illegal child pornography images have come from the Ukraine and the other independent former Soviet Republics and Baltic States. Nothing was being done because it appeared to be Mafia-controlled.

"This is one of the first arrests in this region that I have heard about; it’s exciting to know that law enforcement is doing something about this child abuse,” said the ASACP executive director.

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