Author Topic: Selling Lankan kids via the web for sex  (Read 3044 times)

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Offline sithari

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Selling Lankan kids via the web for sex
« on: September 21, 2006, 07:48:48 AM »
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by Jayampathy Jayasinghe

When Inspector Silva settled at his desk that day he noticed a heap of files on his table. The files were related to various child abuse cases pending before courts, some of the routine things he had to attend daily which takes up a considerable amount of time.

Working for the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) entails work related to tracking down child abusers and paedophiles who violate the law of the land. Both local and foreign nationals are involved in this crime. Often painstaking detective work is needed to track down sex offenders and to keep a close tab on their activities which are done in a surreptitious manner.

It was somewhere in 2002 while browsing the internet the Inspector Silva's eye caught a sex website which sent a chill down his spine. It was a foreign paedophile trying to lure local children for a sexual tryst.

It was a message from a 57 year old white gay male seeking young males to indulge in homosexual activity. He described himself as the "Velvet guy", a not so slim person who promised his sexual soul-mate a good time in bed and wanted young males to e-mail him after reading his profile in the website.

This was no laughing matter thought Inspector Silva, while surfing the sex website. An underground network was being laid by a foreign paedophile to lure young homosexuals to his fold, he pondered for a while.

Having realised the serious nature of the offence, he promptly brought it to the notice of his boss, the Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority. Thereafter, both men behind closed doors discussed the pros and cons of the crime and mapped out a course of action to trap him.

The only way they could do was to encourage the paedophile to send obscene e-mails to the party concerned. This being a covert operation, it had to be done discreetly without alerting the paedophile of a possible trap. Soon the NCPA sleuths got cracking and mapped out a plan to trap the culprit. After realising that it was an airtight case, they decided to act at once.

Meanwhile, a NCPA sleuth was detailed to pose off as a 15 year old boy to lure the paedophile. He was instructed to exchange e-mails with the foreigner indicating his willingness to indulge in homosexual activity.

After exchanging several e-mails he was able to befriend the foreigner. It brought about a positive response from him. The foreign paedophile e-mailed him lewd photographs of himself performing oral sex with another male partner.

He even expressed his desire to have sex with him when he is in Sri Lanka. This was followed by more photographs of the foreigner performing sexual acts with other gay men. The paedophile requested his new found friend in Sri Lanka to e-mail some of his photographs to him.

By now it was pretty obvious to the NCPA sleuths that the man was a professional paedophile and his intentions were quite serious. He was now seeking sensual pleasure in a far off land. Meanwhile, the NCPA had sent photographs of a 15 year old boy who acted as the decoy.

A couple of months later the foreigner arrived in Sri Lanka to meet his newest conquest. He was a 66 year old man and a renowned concert pianist, who was accompanied by his own group of musicians. Soon after their arrival they checked into a five star hotel in Colombo.

The sleuths meanwhile monitored his movements from the time he checked in to the hotel and kept a close tab on him. Later, the sleuths confronted him while he was at a practice session at the hotel. After introducing themselves they politely called him to a corner of the room and questioned him with regard to e-mails and the obscene material sent by him. Thereafter, they recorded a detailed statement of the man and got him to sign the statement.

In the course of the investigation NCPA sleuths learnt that he was a renowned concert pianist who was educated in the United Kingdom and Germany. After studying at the Royal Academy of music, London he received a postgraduate scholarship to study music at the Conservatoire National de Paris.

As a concert pianist he made his debut in London at the age of 19 years. He played at several concerts with leading orchestras in Europe and United Kingdom. During the early 60's 70.'and 80's he had toured the world as an accomplished pianist.

The man admitted that he was gay and had lived with his adult partner for many years. Further inquiries revealed that he had lived at the same address in London for nearly 40 years. However, by the time he came to Sri Lanka he was almost in semi-retirement and was concentrating on teaching music.

The detectives after thoroughly investigating the activities of the London based paedophile submitted the dossier on him to the Metropolitan Police in London for further investigation. Based on the alleged sexual offences mentioned in the report, the Metropolitan police obtained a search warrant and conducted a search of his residence in London in March 2003 for any incriminating evidence.

Following the search, the Police found a computer which they seized and arrested the suspect for further investigations. However, he was bailed out from courts later pending an examination of his computer.

The examination and analysis of his computer revealed that he had committed several sexual offences. As there was ample evidence against him, the police charged him with incitement to commit indecent assault before the High Gate Magistrate Court on 23rd September 2003. The suspect was then sent to stand trial at the Wood Green Crown Court where he was charged on two counts.

The trial went on for five days and the court found him guilty on two counts. On both counts he was sentenced to a three year jail term. Detectives from the Sri Lanka National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) also gave evidence before courts. The Metropolitan Police too filed a document in court which they said was from Yahoo Group in America, that the website called "Gay teens of Sri Lanka " was shut down because it was a trading group for paedophile."

This was a landmark case where the suspect was convicted under the Sexual Offences and Incitement Act of 1966 of the United Kingdom. The Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Intelligence Unit of the New Scotland Yard highly commended the assistance of the National Child Protection Authority of Sri Lanka for the conviction of British Paedophile whose intentions were detected by Sri Lankan authorities.

The Metropolitan police officer stated that it would not have been possible except for the professionalism and dedication shown by the Sri Lankan NCPA staff. Meanwhile, the law relating to sexual offences in the Penal Code have been fortified. New sections 286B and 286C have been incorporated into the Penal Code by Act No 16 of 2006 (amendment). Section 286B (1) states that a person who provides a service by means of a computer shall take all steps as are necessary to ensure that such computer facility is not used for the commission of an act constituting an offence relating to the sexual abuse of a child.

It further states that a person referred to in subsection (1) who has knowledge of any such computer facility referred to in subsection (1) being used for the commission of an act constituting an offence relating to the sexual abuse of a child, shall forthwith inform the officer in charge of the nearest police station of such fact and give such information as may be in his possession with regard to such act and the identity of the alleged offender. Section 360 E (1) states whoever whether within Sri Lanka or from outside Sri Lanka solicits by whatever means

(a) a person under eighteen years of age or (b) any person believing such person to be under eighteen years of age - for the purpose of sexual abuse of a child , commits the offence of soliciting a child and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine or both.
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