[Stop-traffic] News/Russia: Child porn ring

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Russia: Child porn ring
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 10:15:08 EST


Reprinted by Moscow Times
               Thursday, Dec. 21, 2000, 6:10 PM Moscow Time
               Police Crack U.S. and European Child Porn Ring
               By Peter Graff
               Reuters
               Russian police, working with British and American
colleagues, arrested two suspects
               accused of selling child pornography over the Internet
in Europe and the United
               States, a police spokeswoman said Thursday in Moscow.
               The spokeswoman said one of the suspects was arrested
Wednesday evening in a
               Moscow apartment, while the other was nabbed
simultaneously in a military hospital in
               Russia's second city St Petersburg. Both were
unemployed men, aged 30 and 28.
               She said police from the United States and Britain had
played a role in the arrests, but
               did not elaborate.
               Police seized 588 video cassettes, 112 video discs and
more than 1,000 photographs of
               pornography, some of it involving children. The
suspects were accused of selling the
               material over the Internet and through the mail.
               The arrests show an apparent trend of Russian
pornographers using the Internet to
               feed an appetite for child pornography abroad, and
police worldwide teaming up to
               fight them.
               In October, a prosecutor in Italy charged 1,491 people
with sending or receiving child
               pornography from a website.
               A month earlier, Italian police swooped on 600 homes,
arresting eight people on
               charges of possessing or trading in child pornography,
all of it from Russia.
               Italian police said the Russian ring had kidnapped
children from orphanages and filmed
               them being forced to have sex, sometimes raping and
torturing them to death on
               camera.
               The cases rocked Italy, drawing a massive public
outcry. Officials at Italy's state
               broadcaster were forced to resign after excerpts from
videos were shown on the
               evening news.
               Russian police later said they had captured three
members of that ring in February this
               year and retrieved lists of their clients in the United
States, Britain, Germany and Italy,
               which they passed on through Interpol.
               One of the men caught in February had participated in
sex acts on film himself and was
               sentenced to 11 years in prison, but the other two were
charged only with selling
               pornography and released under a general amnesty for
minor crimes.
               Russian law does not provide stiffer penalties for
selling pornography that involves
               children, a police official said.
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