Dutch police help save kids from online sex network

Dutch police sign (Photo: M.Minderhoud/ Wikipedia). ()

The Dutch, Australian and Philippine police together rescued 18 children from sexual abuse situations on an online network. The children were offered online for abuse, mostly by family members. The youngest victim is five months old, the Dutch police said in a statement on Thursday.

People who logged into the network could order the abuse they wanted to see. Through chat conversations, they described what they wanted done to the child, agreed on a price, and then watched the abuse directly via webcam. 

The police shared the information they have on the buyers with the authorities in the countries they live. There are also Dutch among the buyers.

The children were rescued by the police in the Philippines over the past days. In one case, five children between the ages of 5 months and 12 years were removed from a home in the northern Philippines. Their parents and grandparents used them for online sex shows, the Dutch police said in a statement. 

The Dutch police liaison in Manilla, Farid El Hamouti, helped the local police in these investigations. He was sent to the Philippines specifically to help the police there in the fight against child sex tourism. A Dutch liaison from the police's High Tech Crime also helped in the investigations, as did the Australian police.

"When it involves the fight against child pornography and child sex tourism, we as the Dutch police have a lot of knowledge and experience. We like to share it. By doing so in an investigation, you make it practical and concrete", El Hamouti said. He is shocked by how easily these online sex shows happen. "Both the buyers and the sellers seem to find the abuse of children the most normal thing in the world. The prices also show that: a show costs on average between 15 and 25 euros."

Farid El Hamouti was one of the police officers that helped the Australian police track down and catch pedophile Peter Scully.