Operation Round Table Child Porn Ring Busted

Authorities have announced the arrest of 14 American men who allegedly operated a members-only website that distributed approximately 2,000 child porn videos to their 27,000 subscribers.

251 child victims in 6 countries (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium) have been identified so far, 243 males and 8 females. Most are aged 13-15, though there are thirtythree under 12 years of age and two aged 3.

The man who led Operation Round Table, which is part of Operation Predator, was  the DHS deputy director, Daniel Ragsdale. He said:

“Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child exploitation investigation.”

The man alleged to have been the primary administrator of the websites out of his home is Jonathan Johnson (27). He has been charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise. If found guilty, he faces a  sentence of not less than 20 years, possibly life.

Stanley Zdan (27) and Daniel Nolan Devor (39) entered guilty pleas for conspiracy to produce child pornography with Mr. Johnson and face 15-30 years in prison.

More than 300 investigations have been opened into potential subscribers of the website.

The 14 men who were arrested:

  • Jonathan Johnson, 27, of Abita Springs, La., charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise.
  • Daniel Nolan Devor, 39, of Brunswick, Ga., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography and receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors
  • John C. Foster, 44 of Tipp City, Ohio, charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors
  • Aung Gaw aka Michael Gaw, 25, of Fremont, Calif., charged with receipt of child pornography
  • Vittorio Francesco Gonzalez-Castillo, 26, of Tucson, Ariz., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography
  • Sean Jabbar, 32, of Minneapolis, Minn., charged with receipt of child pornography
  • Christopher Jamieson, 30, of Douglassville, Ga., charged with receipt of child pornography
  • Andrew Korpal, 29, of Granger, Ind., charged with receipt of child pornography
  • Nicholas Saine, 27, of Seattle, Wash., charged with receipt of child pornography
  • Christopher Schwab, 25 of New Orleans, charged with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography
  • Stanley Zdon, III, 27, of Tuckerton, N.J., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography
  • Roy Naim, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged in the Eastern District of New York with conspiracy to produce child pornography, attempted sexual exploitation of a child, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
  • Minh Vi Thong, 30, of Denver, Colo., was charged in the District of Colorado with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
  • Michael Eales, 24, of Westby, Wis., was charged in the Western District of Wisconsin with production of child pornography. He was sentenced Oct. 29, 2013, to serve two concurrent 30-year terms in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for manufacturing child pornography.
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Project Spade – Huge Child Porn Ring Busted

Toronto police have announced that a huge child porn ring has been broken up as part of an ongoing international operation called Project Spade which involved law enforcement agencies from Canada, Australia, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Hong Kong, Norway, Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar.

Police were tipped off about the http://www.azovfilms.com website in 2010 and shut down the company behind it, Etobicoke, in 2011 after an investigation. The man at the centre of the ring, Mr. Brian Way (42) of Toronto has been in jail since.

348 people who have been arrested so far. Of the approximately 150 arrested in the United States, those who posed the most immediate risk to children included  35 school employees, 25 registered sex offenders, 10 medical personnel, 10 youth workers or coaches  and 15 worked in law enforcement, US federal employees or attorneys.

Police postponed announcing the success of Project Spade, which has also resulted in 386 children having been rescued, until they felt comfortable that the ring had been completely broken.

A video of the press conference can be seen on this website (look at the extended version).

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Law of Mongolia on Combating Trafficking In Persons – Chapters 3 & 4

Thank you very much to Amarjargal Davjayev from the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) in Mongolia for providing me with these translations.

CHAPTER THREE – FORMS OF ACTIVITIES ON  COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Article 9. Protection shelter
9.1. Protection shelter shall be run for the purpose of protecting victim’s dignity, privacy and safety.
9.2. In case a person claiming to be a victim applies for a protection shelter directly or  through police, measures shall be taken for immediate provision of protection, care and services.
9.3.Irrespective of whether a victim expressed wish to cooperate with police or other competent organization on human trafficking, the victim shall be placed temporarily in a protection shelter.
9.4. Protection shelters may be run by a non-governmental organization by a decision from the Sub-Council.

Article 10. Protection of dignity, identity and safety of victims
10.1. Identity, address and other personal information of victims and their parents shall be confidential and transmission of such information through mass media, provision of such information to others and broadcasting and showing of victims’ faces and voices in a recognizable way shall be prohibited.
10.2. In case the victim so desires it shall be prohibited to inform other family members about becoming a victim of human trafficking crime.
10.3. Disclosure of private information related to human trafficking crime victims by officials who due to their responsibilities participated in crime detection, investigation and court proceedings as well as by other participants     shall be prohibited.
10.4. In case of necessity, measures shall be taken to ensure confidentiality of victims’ identity and whereabouts at the stage of inquiry, investigation and resolving of the case.

Article 11. Protection of foreign nationals and stateless persons
11.1. In case foreign nationals or stateless persons become victims on the territory of Mongolia it shall be prohibited by the decision of  inquiry and investigation organization, prosecutor and court to take measures for forced repatriation because of violation of the country’s travel and migration regime.
11.2. In case foreign nationals or stateless persons become victims on the territory of Mongolia the state administrative organization in charge of foreign nationals and citizenship shall give permit for temporary residence in the country irrespective of the purpose of the entry into Mongolia until the crime case is resolved by the court.

Article 12. Services to be provided to victims
12.1. The following services shall be provided to victims:
12.1.1. rehabilitation treatment to restore health;
12.1.2. psychological rehabilitation treatment;
12.1.3. provision of employment and professional training;
12.1.4. legal counselling;
12.1.5. provision of a temporary housing, foods, foreign passport or similar with it document, repatriation to home;
12.2. The services under provisions 12.1.1. and 12.1.2. of Article 12 shall be provided by medical establishments, services to victims under provision 12.1.3. shall be provided by labour and social welfare organization, services under provision 12.1.4. shall be provided by state administrative organization in charge of justice and services under provision 12.1.5. shall be provided by  diplomatic missions representing Mongolia in foreign countries.
12.3. Services to be provided to victims shall be free of charge.

Article 13. Protection of victim children
13.1. In case children are considered to have become crime victims, inquiry and investigation organs and protection shelter shall take immediate measures to establish and find their parents .
13.2. In case parents of victim children are not established the state administrative central organization in charge of social welfare and labour shall be approached to find their guardians or custodians.
13.3. Victim children shall be placed in protection shelters separately from adults.
13.4. The state administrative organization in charge of children affaires shall have the duty to enroll victim children into school of corresponding level.

Article 14. Protection and remuneration of citizens who provided information on human trafficking
14.1. Witnesses who provided important testimony and citizens who provided objective information related to crime in the course of revealing, registering, investigating and resolving human trafficking cases may be included in victims’ protection measures stipulated in Articles 10 of this Law with a view to ensure their safety.
14.2. The Police Department shall provide cash remuneration to citizens who provided true and objective information on human trafficking.

Article 15. Compensation of damage
15.1. Crime victims shall have the right to seek payment by guilty persons of compensation for damage to property, dignity and morality.
15.2. Victim’s psychological damage shall be compensated by payment of cash.
15.3. The size of compensation for psychological damage shall be established by court taking into account the case context within the range of the victim’s claim.

Article 16. Financing of anti-human trafficking activities
16.1. Funding for activities related to combating human trafficking shall be recruited from:
16.1.1. state and local budget allocations;
16.1.2. allocations for crime prevention activities as provided for in provision 19.1. of the Law on Prevention from Crime;
16.1.3. contributions and assistance from foreign countries and international organizations;
16.1.4. funds raised at the initiative of governmentral and non-governmental organizations, economic entities and citizens;
16.1.5. other sources.

CHAPTER FOUR – MISCELLANEOUS

Article 17. Liability for the violation of the legislation
17.1.In case a person convicted of violating the Law on Combating Human Trafficking  is not liable to criminal offence , the judge shall impose administrative offences as follows:
17.1.1. Official who violated provision 7.1. of this Law shall be liable to a fine equal to 500.000 tugrugs, economic entities and organizations – to a fine equal to 1.000.000 tugrugs respectively.
17.1.2. Legal persons that violated provisions 8.1.1.,8.1.2. of this Law shall be liable to a fine equal to 5.000.000 tugrugs.
17.1.3. In case a human trafficking crime is committed under the disguise of a legal person, a senior official of that legal person shall be liable to a fine equal to 10.000.000 tugrugs.

Article 18. Entry into force of the Law
18.1. This Law shall enter into force from [January 2012].

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Law of Mongolia on Combating Trafficking In Persons – Chapter 2

Thank you very much to Amarjargal Davjayev from the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) in Mongolia for providing me with these translations.

CHAPTER TWO – ORGANIZATION OF WORK RELATED TO COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Article 5. Full powers of state organizations in respect of combating human trafficking
5.1. The Government shall exercise the following full powers in combating human trafficking:
5.1.1. Approve a Programme on Combating Human Trafficking, reflect in state budget and ensure approval of allocations required for its implementation;
5.1.2. Establish assistance fund for citizens of Mongolia living abroad who have become crime victims and approve relevant regulations;
5.1.3. Promote cooperation with non-governmental organizations in combating and preventing human trafficking and in protecting the rights of victims, support these organizations and shift to them execution of some services on the basis of agreement;
5.1.4. Take decision on establishing protection shelters for victims /further referred to as protection shelter/;
5.2. The state central administrative organization in charge of justice and home affairs shall exercise the following full powers:
5.2.1. Organize the work related to combating human trafficking within its full powers provided for in provision 7.3. of Article 7 of the Law on Prevention of Crimes;
5.2.2. Establish a data pool on human trafficking;
5.2.3. Approve monitoring regulations on prevention of foreign citizens visiting and working in Mongolia to become a victim of human trafficking and labour exploitation;
5.2.4. Promote cooperation within its competencies with relevant organizations of foreign countries on combating human trafficking crimes;
5.2.5. Approve together with the State General Prosecutor the regulations on protecting dignity and safety of victims;
5.2.6. Submit together with the state central administrative organization in charge of social welfare and labour proposals on establishing victim protection shelters;
5.2.7. Approve regulations on providing free legal counseling to victims.
5.3. The state central administrative organization in charge of foreign affairs shall exercise the following full powers in combating and preventing human trafficking:
5.3.1. Initiate work on acceding international treaties and concluding relevant agreements with foreign countries and international organizations on combating and preventing human trafficking, organize and report their implementation;
5.3.2. Protect the interests of citizens of Mongolia who have become a victim of human trafficking in other countries and provide to them relevant services;
5.3.3. Approve regulations on providing temporary housing to victims living abroad and returning them home;
5.3.4. Protect rights and interests of under-aged citizens of Mongolia adopted by foreign nationals.
5.4. The state central administrative organization in charge of social welfare and labour shall exercise the following full powers in combating human trafficking:
5.4.1. Get approved standards for providing care and services to victims and ensure their implementation;
5.4.2. Approve  regulations on providing professional training and employment for  crime victims
and ensure their implementation;
5.4.3. Provide support and assistance to non-governmental organizations engaged in protecting and taking care of victims;
5.4.4. Approve jointly with the state central administrative organization in charge of justice and home affairs regulations on requirements and placement of victims to protection shelters.
5.5. The state central administrative organization in charge of health shall exercise the following functions:
5.5.1. Approve regulations on providing medical and psychological rehabilitation  services to victims  and organize their implementation;
5.5.2. Organize training for medical staff on provision of relevant services to victims.
5.6. The state central administrative organization in charge of education, culture and science within its competencies shall organize work related to prevention from human trafficking of pupils and students at schools of  all levels.
5.7. Police and Intelligence Agency shall exercise duties related to detecting and suppressing human trafficking activities.
5.8. The Borders Protection Organization shall have the duty to clarify the identity of children crossing the border, establish the identity  and other travel details of guardians or persons accompanying children on the basis of credence certificate as well as  of the person who shall receive the kid.
5.9. The Professional Inspection Organization shall monitor within its competencies whether economic entities and organizations subject their workers to labour exploitation, forced labour, slavery or practices similar to slavery.
5.10. The Foreign Nationals and Citizenship Authority shall exercise control and inspection as to whether foreign nationals and stateless persons on a visit to Mongolia become subject to human trafficking.
5.11. The state administrative organization in charge of children shall direct preventive measures, training, research, monitoring and evaluation work at children vulnerable to human trafficking and submit proposals concerning further action necessary to undertake at the national level.

Article 6. The Sub-Council and its full powers
6.1. The Sub-Council charged with the duty to coordinate work on combating and preventing human trafficking and provide professional management / further referred to as the Sub-Council/ shall function within the Council on prevention of crimes.
6.2. The composition of the Sub-Council and its statute shall be approved by the Government member in charge of justice and home affairs.
6.3. The Sub-Council may comprise alongside with representatives of state organizations representatives of non-governmental organizations engaged in combating human trafficking as well as of foreign non-governmental organizations conducting activities in this field in Mongolia.
6.4. The activities of the Sub-Council shall be financed from the state budget.
6.5. The Sub- Council shall exercise the following full powers:
6.5.1. Coordinate the work of relevant organizations to ensure the implementation of the Law on combating human trafficking, consider and review their activity reports, carry out inspection and submit recommendations;
6.5.2. Initiate studies on conditions of human trafficking crimes by professional and research organizations, elaborate proposals on further actions and submit them to the Government for consideration through the Council on prevention of crimes;
6.5.3. Identify areas of cooperation with relevant organizations of other countries on combating human trafficking and promote cooperation;
6.5.4. Involve citizens, economic entities and organizations in combating human trafficking crimes, promote cooperation with them, provide support for their initiatives and organize crime prevention training and awareness-raising campaign for the public;
6.5.5. Submit to relevant organizations and officials and demand implementation of its proposals on taking responsibility measures against economic entities and officials who violate legislation on
combating human trafficking and create conditions for commission of offence;
6.5.6. Take measures to support and remunerate the citizens, economic entities, organizations and officials who effectively worked to implement the legislation on combating human trafficking crimes;
6.5.7. Elaborate proposals on allocating in the state budget of the funds required for financing the activities related to the implementation of the legislation and programme on combating human trafficking crimes;
6.5.8. Consolidate the data on human trafficking and its effects;
6.5.9. Conduct monitoring and evaluation on implementation of service standards provided to victims;
6.6. The Sub-Council shall have a meeting every three months.

Article 7. Duties of economic entities and organizations
7.1. Economic entities and organizations shall have to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the competent authorities within the framework of activities to ensure implementation of the legislation on combating human trafficking.
7.2. In case human trafficking is committed under the cover of a legal person, that legal person shall be dismantled by a court decision.

Article 8. Duties of mass media organizations
8.1. Mass media organizations shall have the following duties:
8.1.1. To publicize the legislation on  combating human trafficking, respect privacy and dignity of victims and refrain from reporting about victims without permission of a relevant official;
8.1.2. To avoid from advertisements aimed at luring into human trafficking and pornography ,or non-sanctioned advertisements on sending labour force abroad, mediating marriage with foreigners or arranging study abroad as well as from overt and covert advertisements likely to lead to committal of such crimes.

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Law of Mongolia on Combating Trafficking In Persons – Chapter 1

Thank you very much to Amarjargal Davjayev from the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) in Mongolia for providing me with these translations.

CHAPTER ONE – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Purpose of the Law    
1.1. The purpose of the Law is to regulate the relations pertaining to combating and preventing human trafficking, establishing its causes and conditions, ensuring victims’ rights and their protection.

Article 2. Legislation related to combating human trafficking
2.1. Legislation related to combating human trafficking shall consist of the Constitution, the present Law and other legislative acts enacted in conformity with them.
2.2. In case international treaty, to which Mongolia is a party, is inconsistent with the present Law, then provisions of international treaty shall prevail.

Article 3. Definitions of the Law
3.1. The definitions used in this Law shall be understood as follows:
3.1.1. “Human trafficking” or “trafficking in persons” as stipulated in Article 3 of the Protocol To Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime;
3.1.2. “Victim” as provided for in the Criminal Procedure Code means a person whose rights, freedom and interests are violated due to human trafficking irrespective of whether criminal suit is initiated or victim is established.

Article 4.  Principles of Combating Trafficking in Persons
4.1. The following principles shall be pursued in combating human trafficking:
4.1.1. integrity and comprehensiveness;
4.1.2. respect for victim’s dignity and non-discrimination in any form;
4.1.3. non-liability of victims;
4.1.4. ensurance of victim’s safety and protection of victim’s privacy;
4.1.5. reliance on international cooperation and participation of civil society.

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Sex Industry in Thailand and Cambodia (FRANCE 24 video)

The first half of the video briefly describes the sex industry in Thailand. Prostitution is illegal in the country, yet it accounts for 14% of the economy.

The second half of the video is about Cambodia and is more interesting. It talks about the market demand for children and how many investivations are initiated by foreign organisations rather than the local authorities. It interviews Gilbert Mhat, the president of an unnamed NGO, who claims that other NGOs make up stories about paedophilia so that they may generate funding.

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The Power of Pamphlets

A labour trafficking case in California appeared in the news today.

A Saudi Arabian princess, Meshael Alayban, was arrested on July 9 for holding a domestic servant against her will. Irvine Police Detectives, working closely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, made the arrest.

In March 2012, the victim contracted through an agency in Kenya to work for Alayban’s family in Saudi Arabia. After she arrived, her passports and contract were allegedly taken from her and she was made to work excessive hours. According to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, she only received $200 per month instead of the $1,600 she had been promised.

In May 2013, Alayban’s family traveled to the United States, bringing the Kenyan woman and four other women from the Philippines who were on similar contracts and whose passports had also been taken from them. At this time, there are no indications of physical abuse and no charges have been filed in connection with the Philippine women.

When the Kenyan woman was issued her travel visa by the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia, she received a Department of State pamphlet which described her rights and warned of human trafficking. It appears that she may have used this to explain her situation when seeking help from a woman she met on a bus.

Why this is important

In 2011, I attended an international symposium on human trafficking which had been organised by Polaris Project Japan (PPJ). Experts flew in from the U.S., Korea and Taiwan to speak at the event and they were given the opportunity to join PPJ in a closed door meeting with the Japanese Minister of Justice.

Japan, which is consistently ranked as a tier 2 country on the annual TIP report, does not distribute information to people entering the country which is similar to that of the U.S. Department of State. One of the outcomes being sought by PPJ at the closed door meeting with the minister was to have materials distributed in the arrivals section of airports. Unfortunately, the minister was completely dismissive of the suggestion.

I spoke with one of the people who attended the meeting, and they speculated that the minister’s view was that distributing anti-trafficking materials would give Japan a negative image as an unsafe place to visit. The minister did not make this point explicit, but rather simply rejected every logical argument which favoured a new approach.

By making victims aware of their rights and letting them know that officials have a special awareness on human trafficking, they become empowered to seek help. As the speakers at the symposium pointed out, a common tactic of traffickers is to coerce their victims into compliance by making them believe that, should they go to the police, they would be viewed and treated as criminals.

I applaud the U.S. State Department in this matter and would urge more countries to follow their example.

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