Australia honors Dutch cops for help in catching pedophile
On Monday four Dutch police officers received the Australian award Foundation Day Honors for their help in tracking down and catching Australian pedophile Peter Scully. The four child pornography detectives were given the award on behalf of Australian Chief of Police Andrew Colvin for their "extraordinary dedication" in this investigation. This is the first time that Dutch police officers receive this award, the police said in a statement.
Scully and a Filipino woman were arrested in 2015 after an intensive investigation by the Dutch, Australian and Philippine police. They tortured, abused and raped at least eight children in the Philippines, the youngest of which was only 18 months old. The body of a 10-year-old girl was found buried under the floor of Scully's apartment. The exact cause of her death could not be determined, but it is believed that she could not survive the torture inflicted on her.
The abuse of the children was filmed and videos were offered for sale on very difficult to trace websites. The Dutch police got involved in the investigation because what seemed to be Dutch words were spoken in a few seconds long fragment of one video. It eventually turned out to be Australian, but by that time the Dutch police already accumulated so much knowledge of the case that they remained involved in the investigation until Scully's arrest in 2015.
Farid el Hamouti, one of the Dutch detectives involved in the case, called this an extraordinary investigation. "The crimes were, of course, very, very serious. I think that is why the international barriers in this investigation completely disappeared. Everyone wanted the same thing: getting the responsible people behind bars as soon as possible. The collaboration went very smoothly", he said. "It felt like looking for a needle in a haystack, because digitally he hid himself very well and also in the video footage tried very hard to leave nothing recognizable, but we still found tiny new pieces of the puzzle, which together eventually led to the suspect."
The other three detectives who received this honor are Danny van Althuis, Aat Both, and Arjan Verhagen.