Animated child traps Danish sex predators

Nine Danes among the 1,000 men busted in international campaign against webcam child sex tourism

Child rights organisation Terre des Hommes (TDHIF) has ensnared over 1,000 sexual predators from 71 countries using an animated 10-year-old Filipina child.

Nine Danes were among those who offered to pay to watch ‘Sweetie’ perform sex acts over the internet, thinking the child was real.

But Sweetie was merely an animation that TDHIF used as a bait to lure sexual predators through chat rooms and expose webcam child sex tourism.

Paid to watch abuse
TDHIF reports that around 20,000 men made contact with Sweetie over the space of two weeks and around 1,000 offered to pay to watch her get abused over webcam.

"From a remote building in Amsterdam the researchers operated in public chat rooms," TDHIF stated in a press release. "In a very short period, over 20,000 predators from around the world approached the virtual 10-year-old, asking for webcam sex performances. While the adults interacted with the virtual girl, the researchers gathered information about them through social media to uncover their identities."

Information given to the police
TDHIF told Politiken newspaper that it would only pass on the evidence – which includes video clips, pictures and chat room logs – to national police authorities.

Johnny Lundberg, head of the national police’s IT research division, NITEC, told Politiken that they hadn’t yet received the information but that they would take a look at it once it arrives.

Europol disapproves
According to Danish law, participating in or overseeing the sexual abuse of a child under age 18 is punishable by up to six years of prison.

European police agency Europol expressed concerns about TDHIF's methods, with a spokesperson telling Reuters that, "criminal investigations using intrusive surveillance measures should be the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies."