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Suspected Pedophile Arrested for Downloading Child Porn in Thailand

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau announced that another branch of law enforcement in Thailand had arrested a pedophile from Austria who had been accessing child pornography forums on the dark web to view and download child pornography. An investigation into the full extent of his activities is ongoing and police are attempting to contact a possible co-conspirator who could help the police prove that the Austrian man had committed additional crimes.

The Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) Task Force arrested a 66-year-old man from the Austrian state of Tyrol for accessing and downloading child pornography. According to a press release posted on the website and Facebook pages of the Thailand Immigration Bureau, the Austrian man had been downloading illegal content from undisclosed dark web sites. A tip from a different law enforcement agency pointed cybercrime investigators in Thailand in the direction of the alleged pedophile. Law enforcement received this tip in September and executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home in the city of Chiang Mai in early November.

Government officials never revealed the identity of the government body behind the tip that led to the arrest of the Austrian man. However, in many cases involving various forms of criminal activity committed on the internet, law enforcement in Thailand has worked alongside international law enforcement agencies. Thailand’s cybercrime task forces dedicated to investigating child exploitation cases were heavily influenced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and similar agencies worldwide. The FBI in Bangkok and the United States State Department have frequently helped law enforcement in Thailand investigate and capture notable dark web drug dealers and alleged dark web marketplace owners. Europol, too, has been an active participant in investigations into notable criminals in Thailand.

The tip likely came from an international law enforcement agency. For example, Australia’s Task Force Argos successfully located a number of child abusers who had uploaded content to dark web forums. In many of those cases, the pedophiles had only uploaded pictures of children instead of content featuring the uploader sharing a video of child abuse that featured the face of the abuser. Other identifying features, such as clothing in the pictures, backdrops, and the child’s skin tone helped pinpoint the general area the pictures had been taken. German law enforcement worked together with law enforcement in Thailand in several cases. One case involved dark web forum users and an attempt to start a child prostitution ring in Thailand.

The law enforcement agency that provided the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with the tip about the 66-year-old Austrian man seemingly provided accurate information; authorities in Thailand investigated the case for less than a month before executing the first step of their plan. The evidence provided by the unnamed law enforcement agency was considered credible enough for the police to obtain a court order that authorized the search of the man’s home in Chiang Mai.

During the search, cybercrime investigators sat down at the suspected pedophile’s computer once other law enforcement officers had detained the suspect. Although authorities did not reveal the specific number of illegal pictures and videos found on suspect’s computer, they did call the collection “a mountain of child pornography.” They matched the content with content from dark web platforms for pedophiles. The suspect also admitted downloading the illegal pictures and videos from the dark web. Law enforcement officers are currently searching for the man’s alleged partner and potential co-defendant. The illegal content from the Austrian man’s computer led to possession of child pornography charges. However, the investigators have not completed their investigation; they suspect he may have been involved in the distribution of child pornography. His partner may hold the evidence they need to charge the suspect with the additional distribution charges.

With the current charges, the 66-year-old faces a minimum prison sentence of five years. If the authorities can prove the man had also distributed child pornography, the mandatory minimum sentence is five years and a 3,700 euro fine.

One comment

  1. Still waiting for the day they arrest somebody that does not keep Tor and everything they download on there computer .

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