Dutch probe leads to global child sex arrests

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A Dutch police probe culminating in the sentencing of a former creche worker for paedophilia, has lead to the arrest of 33 suspects world-wide, a prosecutor's office spokesman said Wednesday.

Police swooped on suspects in the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Britain and other countries after investigating the case of a 28-year-old Dutch citizen only identified as "Robert M.", said Dutch prosecutor's office spokesman Wim de Bruin.

M., a Dutch citizen of Latvian origin, was sent to 18 years in jail on May 18 for sexually assaulting 67 young children while working at creches in Amsterdam, as well as for making and distributing child pornography.

"There were 33 arrests world-wide, including eight in the United States and 13 in the Netherlands," De Bruin told AFP.

The arrest came after police analysed M.'s computers, hard drives, USB drives and mobile phones following his arrest on December 7, 2010.

Police identified some 1,100 of M.'s Internet contacts and sent the results to 52 countries.

Some of the suspects were arrested for the possession and distribution of child pornography while others were arrested for the sexual abuse of children.

"Numerous investigations in the Netherlands and abroad are still continuing," De Bruin said.

Arrested in December 2010, M. was employed in nurseries in Amsterdam which looked after children aged from a few months to four years between 2007 and 2010. From 2009 he also acted as a baby-sitter for parents he contacted via the Internet.

M. admitted to the offences.

His 39-year-old Dutch spouse was sentenced to six years in jail for the possession of child pornography and for "facilitating" M.'s crimes.

© 2012 AFP

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