10 of 11 detained for child trafficking, pornography sent to pretrial detention

Most of the detainees are the parents of the children involved in pornography. Photo: Tbilisi City Court.


Agenda.ge, 20 Sep 2019 - 12:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ten of 11 individuals, who have been detained in a joint operation by Georgian and foreign law enforcers, for child trafficking and child pornography charges have been sent to ptetrial detention. 

One man sent to pre-detention is a citizen of the US, who came to Georgia in 2011 to teach English in a village of the Samegrelo region, in western Georgia, where he did so for nine months as a part of Teach and Learn with Georgia programme. 

At that time he was 50 years old and seemed quite a good man. We can describe him only positively,” the school personnel say. 

The trial regarding the preventive measure of the 11th detainee, who is a citizen of Australia, is scheduled for later today. 

Prosecutor Mariam Gogoreliani says that it is a separate case, not connected with the 10 detainees, but also involving the accusations regarding traffiking and pornography.

Gogoreliani says that only one of the 11 is accused of non-reporting the crime. 

The video released by the Georgian Interior Ministry, reflecting the detention.

Nine of the detainees are Georgian citizens, eight are the parents of the children involved in the illegal activity. All of the parents had information regarding the photo sessions and received money from the detained foreign citizens.Two parents of the eight were also trying to find other children and communicate with their parents to get them involved in the offence,” Gogoreliani says. 

A relative of one of the detained parents told the media that they had no information about the content of the photo sessions. 

Vladimer Bortsvadze from the Interior Ministry stated later yesterday that special operations were conducted in Gori, Lanchkhuti and Tbilisi, saying that there were two photo studios arranged in Tbilisi, in rented apartments. 

The ministry reported yesterday that 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 list of detainees and the victims may increase,” the Georgian Interior Ministry reports. 

The ministry stated that American and Australian citizens were selling the pornography abroad and took the income received from the sale from cryptomats [digital currency ATMs] located at different trade centres in Tbilisi.