Friday 20 September 2019

Child-like sex doll among items seized by gardai in raids on 14 properties across the country

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Allison Bray

A child-like sex doll was seized by gardai as part of a crackdown on child pornography that saw raids carried out in six counties.

Gardaí this evening confirmed that the disturbing sex doll was found when they raided 14 addresses as part of an ongoing clampdown on child pornography known as ‘Operation Ketch.’

Search warrants were executed at seven premises in Dublin, as well as two each in counties Cork and Waterford. Other single raids took place in counties Meath, Monaghan and Galway between today and Monday.

Officers obtained search warrants from District Courts under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

Raids were then conducted by members of the Divisional Protection Service Units and detective units.

During each raid, gardai came away with digital material as well as computer hard drives, laptops and phones that will now be forensically examined. The doll, the gender of which was not disclosed, was also found during one of the raids.

READ MORE: Gardaí hunt child porn users as 23 properties raided

A garda spokesman said gardai will now go over the seized material and follow-up searches will be carried out in the coming days.

“Arrests are expected as individual investigations progress,” said a statement from the Garda Press Office this evening.

Meanwhile, gardai are continuing to liaise with the child and family agency Tusla over any child-protection issues that may have arisen as a result of the operation.

“An Garda Síochána wishes to reassure the community, through operations such as this and other ongoing work by the Online Child Exploitation Unit, that we will relentlessly pursue those involved in the possession, importation and distribution of child abuse material,” the statement read.

READ MORE: 23 addresses in eleven counties searched as part of crackdown into child porn possession and distribution

Anyone with information is asked to come forward and contact their local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

The raids are part of an ongoing operation that began in February 2018.

The operation, co-ordinated by the Garda National Protection Services Bureau,  aims to target anyone suspected of possessing, importing or otherwise distributing child pornography online or otherwise, according to gardai.

Gardai are also tasked with identifying any child protection concerns where raids have been carried out and engage with Tusla over such concerns.

To date, 72 addresses across Ireland have been searched so far this year, while 137 addresses were raided last year.

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