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Child porn charges after raids on 11 people

Eleven people were arrested in multiple raids in 10 provinces and charged with possession of child pornography with intent to distribute, police said on Friday.

The suspects were detained after 13 raids were carried out in Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Yasothon, Khon Kaen, Phatthalung, Chon Buri, Uthai Thani, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Bangkok, said Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, assistant national police chief and deputy director of the Royal Thai Police’s centre for protection of children, women and families.

He was speaking at a press conference to announce arrests of the suspects.

He said police were tipped off.

Police found pornographic materials involving children on their tablets and computers, Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.

Each suspect could face up to five years in prison and/or be fined 100,000 baht if convicted, Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.

“Every minute, more than 500 images of child porn are circulated on the internet,” he said. “This is seen as part of human trafficking.”

The suspects either secretly filmed them having sex with minors and sold the video clips to customers or recorded videos to blackmail victims, said Pol Maj Gen Thitawat Suriyachai, chief of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau’s Sub-Bureau 4.

Over the past year, about 100,000 similar cases have been committed, he said, adding police believe they are linked to human trafficking rings.

Nanta Waikakul, director of the Children and Youth Protection Division, said her division has been working to educate children on how to protect themselves from being targeted by criminals and provide shelter to victims.

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