Sunday 22 September 2019

Gardai carry out raids in 12 counties over possession of child abuse images

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Gardaí have carried out raids in 31 homes across 12 counties as part of an investigation into the possession and distribution of child abuse images.

The raids, under Operation Ketch, were carried out over the past three days.

Gardaí seized computers and phones during the raids.

Nobody was arrested today, but gardaí say arrests are expected.

The operation was led by the Online Child Exploitation Unit (ONCE) and the Garda National Protection Services Bureau.

Gardaí said child protection concerns at each address have been addressed.

Law enforcement agencies in Canada, the US and other countries also assisted gardaí in the operation.

Speaking earlier today, Detective Superintendent Declan Daly  reminded parents and guardians to maintain good communications with their children surrounding online activity.

Supt Daly said: "Children should be warned to immediately inform parents or guardians of any suspicious online approaches. If images have been sent or a request for images has been received; don’t send (further) images, don’t delete anything, preserve the communication and call the Gardaí".

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