Dark Web Child Abuse: Auckland Man Pleads Guilty


A New Zealand man hailing from Auckland has admitted on an attempt to purchase a child from the dark web. The accused called himself Kiwipedo on the dark web and has admitted that he planned to buy the child against $15,000 owing to sexual abuse, He has also hold accused of possession of 417 objectionable images just when the trial was about to close.

After a week of witness testimony, the man whose identification has been kept hidden pleaded guilty of two charges before Judge Allan Roberts in the Auckland District Court. The accused has admitted that he surely attempted to enter into a deal that involved a person under the age of 18 for sexual exploitation between the 13th of January, 2015 and the 20th of February, 2015. Along with this, he has also accepted that during the initial months of 2015, he had possessed 417 objectionable images.

In the trial week, Crown had witnesses who revealed that the dark web is an encrypted area of the internet that is solely accessible via special software and in-depth knowledge of where to visit. Within this particular area, people can purchase drugs, explosives and guns. Apart from this, people can also go forward and trade in child exploitation materials, as stated by one of the New Zealand police officers. The officer while working in Australia had texted a username Kiwipedo”, who had later suggested that they should “kidnap one and use a basement like Fritz”. With this reference, it was entirely understood that it belonged to the Australian paedophilia Josef Fritzi, who was accused of imprisoning his own daughter in a basement and had raped her repeatedly. Furthermore, the officer has informed the court that he has passed on the username to other investigators who are working on DIA and privately messaged Kiwipedo”.

One of the covert investigators told the court that in one of the conversations of the accused, it was clear that “Kiwipedo” lived in New Zealand and he was willing to pay a cash amount of $15,000 or even in Bitcoin to buy a child of under seven years of age.

Image: The Guardian

“Would a Chinese child cause problems at your end?”, the investigator had asked.

The accused then informed the court that he was asking whether an Asian child in the household could be suspicious.

“It’s called a basement,” Kiwipedo responded in another reference to Fritzl.

It was also found that the username later communicated with another covert agent regarding the meet-up in an Auckland based motel in the bid to abuse a child. He also stated that the room particularly needs to be on the ground floor. The profile had also asked whether they should swap some of the USBs for their individual collections. However, a meeting was never carried on.

The investigators then took the help of the trace tools in the bid to find the relevant computer in Auckland in the middle of 2015, where they had executed a search warrant. Media are then prevented from accurately revealing how he was caught in the sting operation owing to the strict suppression orders.

The accused was read his rights and asked: “Do you know why we are here today?”

“No idea,” he replied.

The accused was questioned if he used the internet on the premises in general to which he replied that he did all his “personal stuff” there that even includes downloading movies. He unveiled the investigator that he had browsed the Silk Road, which was an online darknet market, now shut down. Another search warrant has been executed where the Crown found evidence of 417 objectionable images on a hard drive.

Image: South China Morning Port

The case is one of the many to be put up in the New Zealand courts in the past couple of years on the international forces that collaborate to hunt out the instances of child exploitation. The US FBI, one of the major partners of the New Zealand police in identifying child exploitation, has found a former North Shore community board chairperson, who is paying for accessing the live child sex shows.

Back in September 2017, police had seized three devices from the residence of Martin Lawes. When the New Zealand Customs searched the computers, dozens of the objectionable publications were found.

The multi-national investigation that has been led by the FBI found Lawes to have paid over $100,000 over ten years in the bid to stream abuse directly from Asia. The paedophile has been jailed for over four years and six months and the investigation has led to the rescue of the exploited children in Phillippines. Earlier this year, he was released by parole.

The US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children has identified an IP address of a person on Waiheke in 2017 that led them to Thomas Moroney. Moroney has been sentenced on nineteen charges of possessing and supplying the objectionable material to two years of the rigorous supervision and 200 hours of the community work. The US Homeland Security has also contacted the Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand police unit (Oceanz) back in September 2015 regarding concerns to a Canterbury link to a global paedophilic syndicate on the darknet.

Christchurch man named Drew Webb has been found to be orchestrating the group and as well as importing and distributing images and as well as films of the children who are being abused. The age bar even included babies and toddlers. Thirty-one children had been rescued in 2017 from the humongous child sex network, including children as little as two years old.

Source: NewsTalkZB

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