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LAHORE: A 45-year-old man involved in country’s first child pornography scandal had wanted his main offshore client to arrange his and some children’s travel to Norway to produce pornographic content there, claims the Federal Investigation Agency’s cyber crime wing in Lahore.

The FIA has booked Saadat Amin under sections 20, 21 and 22 of the new cybercrime law (Prevention of Electronic Crime Act). These sections carry an imprisonment of 15 years. The FIA says this is a “first-of-its-kind” scandal unearthed in the country.

“I had asked my main client - Jane Lindstorm - in Norway to arrange for documents for visas for me and some children (who were learning computer skills) to travel to Norway. I had shared the nude pictures of these children with Lindstorm. The children are between 8 and 14 years,” Amin who was arrested in Sargodha on Tuesday last told this to his interrogator.

It took the FIA three months to trace Amin after being informed by the Norwegian Embassy, Islamabad, through a letter that the country’s police had arrested a man (Jane Lindstorm) in connection with the child pornographic content and that Amin was one of his accomplices in Pakistan.

Speaking to Dawn on Thursday, one of the interrogators Assistant Director Asif Iqbal said: “Amin had told Lindstorm that the children would be available for ‘proper acts in porn videos’. He even told the parents of these children that he would take them to Norway and Sweden where they had a great future.”

To a question whether the FIA managed to record the statements of some affected children and their parents, Mr Iqbal said: “It will be difficult to trace these children. However, we may reach them through the suspect (who is currently being interrogated). There are problems in such cases because of social stigma (attached to it). The affected persons usually prefer not to turn up against the suspect.”

The FIA has so far unearthed US $30,000 the suspect received from Lindstorm through via Western Union as payment for the videos and images he produced.

Amin also told the investigators that he had been “introduced” to the child porn industry by Lindstorm. “Lindstorm is a member of the international racket of child pornography business,” the FIA official said, adding Amin had remained in contact with Lindstorm via Whatsapp, Skype and Facebook over the past few years.

The FIA said as Amin primarily made money by hacking Russian and Bangladeshi porn websites he also produced nude images of the children and produced pornographic content involving some 25 local children whom he lured on the pretext of providing them with computer education and also paid them monthly stipend.

The FIA has so far recovered 65,000 child pornography video clips from the suspect’s possession hacked from foreign websites. The FIA is trying to retrieve more data from the laptop and hard disks.

Amin, a graduate of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Taxila Campus, is resident of Malikwal, Mandi Bahauddin. Later, he moved to Sargodha where he indulged in the heinous activity.

He confessed he had been selling child pornographic content online for the last few years after accepting a deal made by Lindstorm to do so. “The suspect is a good hacker and also had links with some policemen in Sargodha who often engage him for preparation of criminals’ record,” Mr Iqbal said.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2017