Durban - Three men - arrested this week on charges relating to their involvement in a child pornography ring operating in and around Durban - appeared briefly in the city's Sexual Offenses Court on Thursday.

The men included a 47-year-old from the Bluff, a 29-year-old from Pinetown and a 35-year-old from Waterfall.

They were arrested by the KwaZulu-Natal Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit on Tuesday.

Their identities are known to The Mercury but are being withheld until they have pleaded.

The trio was nabbed after the Pinetown man visited a website that was being monitored by US Homeland Security, the court heard on Wednesday.

Police subsequently raided his home, where they discovered child pornography, and he then revealed his two co-accused’s involvement.

Upon raiding the Bluff man’s home, police discovered illicit images of one of his neighbour’s children.

All three men are facing charges of accessing, sharing, downloading and distributing child pornography.

The Bluff man also stands accused of rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a child, grooming and using a child for pornography.

Public prosecutor Jerome Gnanapragas said the State was opposing bail at this stage and the men were remanded into custody for a possible bail application next week.

The Mercury