11 detained for making child pornography, child trafficking, including US, Australian citizens

The operation to identify and detain the individuals took several months, the Georgian Interior Ministry reported. Photo: Shutterstock.

Agenda.ge, 19 Sep 2019 - 14:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

A criminal group involving 11 individuals have been identified and detained on charges of children trafficking and making child pornography in a joint operation of Georgian, US, Australian law enforcers and Europol. 

One American and one Australian citizen are among the detainees, while others are citizens of Georgia, including the parents and relatives of the affected children. 

10 underage girls aged 8-14 have been forced to be involved in the illegal activity, with the consent of their parents, who received 800 ($270) - 3,000 ($1000) GEL income from the detainees,” the Interior Ministry reports. 

The video released by the Interior Ministry. 

The ministry says that the citizens of the US and Australia had a photo salon in a rented apartment in Tbilisi, where, with the help of their Georgian associates, they were making children pornography to sell abroad. 

The foreign citizens took the income received from the sale from cryptomats [digital currency ATMs] located at different trade centres in Tbilisi,” the ministry reports. 

Photo and video materials have been seized from the apartment, as well as various expensive devices required for taking photos and recording videos, the ministry said. 

The crime is punishable by 17 to 20 years in prison or life imprisonment.

The ministry has cited the US Embassy to Georgia as saying that the “detention must be a warning for everyone who inflicts damage to children, that through joint efforts they will be identified, detained and held accountable.”