PHETCHABURI: Police have arrested a suspected child pornographer who was distributing his illicit materials online.
Officers, armed with a warrant issued by the Criminal Court, arrested Nitikorn Manop, 29, at a house in Cha-am district, Phetchaburi, on Thursday. The suspect was charged with human trafficking, child exploitation and production and distribution of child pornography, Pol Maj Gen Wiwat Khamchamnarn, head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, said on Saturday.
The suspect was allegedly running a webpage that lured children to appear in pornographic videos for sale.
Police tracked the perpetrator from his Twitter page, which was followed by over 290,000 users. The feed posted messages and other media depicting child pornography and sexual acts performed on minors along with calls to join a pay-for-entry secret group on LINE messaging app. Authorities disguised themselves as interested users to stake out the group ahead of the arrest.
Many boys under 18 were seen depicted in the media being circulated in the group. Most of them were likely unaware of their involvement, according to investigators.
During questioning, Mr Nitikorn told police that he was the owner and administrator of the webpage, Twitter account and LINE group.
The suspect said he had filmed many of the videos posted to the channels. After luring the children via social media, he paid them 2,000 to 3,000 baht for intercourse. Most did not know they were being filmed during the act, he added.
The suspect had been operating for over four years before the arrest, charging people 500 to 1,000 baht to access his group.