Gardaí carry out search in Cork as part of operation against online child sexual exploitation material

Ten searches were carried out as part of 16 days of activism.
Gardaí carry out search in Cork as part of operation against online child sexual exploitation material

Ten searches were carried out as part of 16 days of activism. Picture Denis Minihane.

Gardaí carried out a search in Cork, along with other searches in Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Wicklow, in a targeted operation against online child sexual exploitation material.

Ten searches were carried out as part of 16 days of activism.

Between November 28 and December 1 coordinated by the Online Child Exploitation Unit (OnCE) attached the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) were carried out under Operation KETCH Operation Ketch was established in January 2018 as an intelligence-led operation targeting suspected possessors and distributors of Online Child Sexual Exploitation Material Contrary to the Child Trafficking and Pornography act 1998 as amended. The operation was initiated by the Online Child Exploitation Unit at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau.

To date, during 2022, the Online Child Exploitation Unit has sent in excess of 700 referrals to local Divisional Protective Services Units for investigation The intelligence led searches, with warrants under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, will help identify suspects who are using Peer to Peer file sharing and secondly suspects using various Social Media platforms to share, distribute and possess Child Sexual Exploitation material.

Various items of digital material was seized for forensic examination.

Gardaí continue to liaise with TUSLA in relation to child protection concerns that arise.

To date, during 2022, the OnCE Unit has referred in excess of 700 Investigation files to local DPSUs for investigation.

Speaking today Detective Superintendent Lackey, Garda National Protective Service Bureau highlighted: "Person accessing, viewing and distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material need to recognise that this is not a victimless crime, in fact the young victims of this criminal activity are amongst the most vulnerable victims in our society in Ireland and Internationally. An Garda Síochána is working and will continue to work closely with all our international partners to target, disrupt and bring to justice anyone involved in the accessing, distribution and production of the this criminal sexual abuse material.”

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