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Child Exploitation
05/06/2008

INTERPOL and ICE seek help identifying international child predator

LYON, France - INTERPOL is asking for the public's help in identifying a man pictured sexually abusing children in a series of images found on the Internet and retrieved from the computer of a convicted pedophile. ICE agents stationed internationally work with INTERPOL and other law enforcement agencies to enhance coordination on crimes that cross borders.

The man, whose name, nationality and location are unknown is featured in approximately 100 images in a series of around 800, which are believed to have been taken in Southeast Asia and depict the sexual abuse of at least three boys aged between six and 10 years old. The first pictures of the man were originally discovered by police in Norway in March 2006.

"The law enforcement community around the world has done all it can to find this man who clearly presents a danger to young children, and we are now asking the public to help identify this predator and protect other potential victims from abuse," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

"When we made a similar appeal last year, it was information provided by the public which helped identify and locate Christopher Paul NEIL, who is now in jail facing child abuse charges. We hope that people around the world will again play a vital role in tracing this man who could otherwise continue to sexually abuse young children."

After receiving the pictures from Norwegian police, INTERPOL's child exploitation unit at the General Secretariat in Lyon, France circulated the images to its global network of experts to try and identify the man. The photographs were also entered into INTERPOL's Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID) for a digital comparison of images received and stored in ICAID from around the world. To date, around 800 images in this series, all featuring the same victims and locations, have been identified.

Operation Vico, INTERPOL's first-ever public appeal to identify an unknown man photographed sexually abusing children, led to the swift arrest in Thailand of Christopher Paul NEIL last October. Following the success of that operation, INTERPOL's General Assembly in 2007 approved a resolution empowering the organization to publish information to request the public's assistance in child sex abuse investigations.

"Again, it was a carefully considered decision to publish this second man's picture in a public appeal. Our duty as law enforcement officers is to protect children and we believe this appeal, codenamed Operation IDent, will help us do that," said Kristin Kvigne, Assistant Director of INTERPOL's Trafficking in Human Beings unit.

"While these images were only discovered two years ago, we believe the photographs were taken between April 2000 and May 2001 so clearly this man will be older than he appears in the pictures."

Anyone with information on this man and his location is advised to contact the police or INTERPOL National Central Bureau in their country. Photographs of the man and a form to provide information to specialist officers can be found on INTERPOL's website, www.interpol.int.

ICE is a member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, joining law enforcement agencies around the world, including INTERPOL, to fight child exploitation information and images that travel over the Internet.

Searches such as this one and arrests are part of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE initiative targeting those who prey on and exploit children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 individuals. The public is encouraged to report suspected child predators and suspicious activity through ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE.