herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Child sex doll found during garda raids

Gardai carried out raids
Gardai carried out raids

A child-like sex doll was seized by gardai as part of a crackdown on child pornography, with raids carried out across six counties this week.

Gardai confirmed that the doll was found when they carried out raids at 14 addresses as part of the 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 have taken place in Meath, Monaghan and Galway since Monday.

Officers obtained search warrants from district courts under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

Laptops

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

Gardai came away with digital material as well as computer hard drives, laptops and phones that will be forensically examined.

The doll, the gender of which was not disclosed, was also found during one of the raids.

"Arrests are expected as individual investigations progress," a garda statement said.

Officers 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 Siochana 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.

Operation Ketch, which began in February 2018 and is 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.

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

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