Indonesian authorities have initiated a probe to determine whether a child pornography ring sustained ties with an international network, police said on Tuesday. The announcement came after a number of videos of adult women engaged in sexual acts with boys went viral on social media, according to Reuters.
At least seven people have been detained, including the mothers of two of the boys. They could be sentenced to 15 years in prison if prosecutors prove they violated child protection and pornography laws.
Police in West Java province said three boys, as young as seven, who were seen in the videos have been placed in the care of social workers.
Regional police spokesman, Yusri Yunus said the “results of the preliminary investigation show that the director sold the videos to someone in Russia and Canada,” adding that the investigation is proceeding in coordination with “the national cybercrime unit.”
Local media reported the director of the videos received 31 million rupiah – roughly US$2,307 – to produce the videos.
Poverty and lax enforcement of laws in the past have made Indonesia vulnerable to child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
Based on immigration data, Indonesian authorities prevented 92 convicted Australian pedophiles from entering the country last year alone, Reuters reported. In 2016, a British court condemned Richard Huckle to 22 life sentences for abusing at least 200 babies and children, mostly in Malaysia, and distributing images of these acts on the dark web.
UNICEF has reported that the Philippines is a primary target for pedophiles.