The police’s Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit have, in collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security, arrested three online child sexual predators in the province.
The trio were arrested in a simultaneous takedown operation in the past week, relating to a number of suspects who were identified as South African users who are involved in the possession, distribution, manufacturing, accessing and downloading of child pornography.
In Springs, Gauteng police arrested a 63-year-old male British citizen who was found to be in the country illegally.
The suspect faces offences related to bestiality where police have seized material of him allegedly having sexual intercourse with a dog.
The dog was saved.
Other offences are related to child pornography, such as possession, distribution, accessing, downloading, facilitating, viewing, facilitating the distribution and making available child pornography, exposure of a child to adult and child pornography, and grooming of a child.
Members of SECI at head office and in Gauteng conducted the preliminary investigations on the users and various provinces were identified in which the suspects reside.
Police national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe told the media that after several months of investigation and planning by SECI, perpetrators were identified in Gauteng and a joint operation was planned.
Mathe said the second suspect, who is a 43-year-old South African male, was arrested in Benoni, Ekurhuleni.
She said the suspect also faces offences relating to child pornography, including possession, distribution, accessing, downloading, facilitating, viewing, and facilitating the distribution of making child pornography available
Mathe said the third suspect, a 43-year-old South African male, was arrested in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.
He too faces charges relating to child pornography, such as possession, accessing, downloading, and viewing
Mathe said as a result of these operations, three South African children who were used during the commission of the above offences were identified, and a dog was saved.
“The operations will continue throughout the country to unravel a network of child sexual predators,” Mathe said.
She said the trio have already appeared before various courts including Springs, Benoni and Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Their cases were postponed for further investigation and bail applications.