Father’s shock as international cops swoop on porn collection
A Shaken Plettenberg Bay father yesterday spoke about the shock and confusion he felt when police arrested his son after descending on their home in search of horrific child pornography.
At first the man who went to Port Elizabeth high school Lawson Brown did not believe that police would find what they were looking for. But find it they did – on the personal computer of his 37-year-old son.
The joint sting operation by South African and Belgian police on Tuesday ended in the arrest of the Plettenberg Bay computer professional who is allegedly linked to an international pornography ring distributing images and videos that include the rape, torture and murder of newborns and babies still in nappies.
The sting operation came after investigators discovered a “rape and kill” file that appeared on an obscure online meeting place for paedophiles with violent fetishes.
The father, who cannot be named as it would identify his son, who can only be named when he pleads to the charges, spoke nervously when recalling the police contingent that arriving on his doorstep on Tuesday.
“It was a shock when these ous rocked up. They were not normal police in normal police clothes and there were international police too. We didn’t believe it. We know the bloke [his son],” said the father.
“We thought, it can’t be our son.”
Sounding confused and tired, the father said he initially did not believe the allegations but, “it was there on his personal computer.
“He made mistakes and the consequences of this mistake are far reaching. I don’t know what to say. He has an inquiring mind. I don’t know how computers work but maybe you Google something and go onto sites you shouldn’t.
“We don’t know what lengths and depths this goes to or how long it’s been going on for. We don’t condone what he has done but he’s our son.” he said.
He added that The arrest has been difficult for the family.
“We all stay around here [Plettenberg Bay] and it’s difficult.”
While the man’s arrest has left his family stunned The Plettenberg Bay community is abuzz with talk of the arrest, with photographs of the man being sent via phone and e-mail around town.
Rumours about horrific initiation rites which have to be taken in order to become a member of the online paedophile site are also doing the rounds.
A resident, who did not want to be named, said many in town believed that in order to access the pornography “you have to abduct and torture and kill a child before they let you in”.
Many in town know the man’s name and that of the family computer company he works for.
One resident, who also did not want to be named, said, “We would be happy if you would investigate him. I would castrate him myself if I could.”
On Wednesday, the computer technician appeared in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrate’s Court where bail was set at R10000.
Earlier this week, Lieutenant-Colonel Heila Niemand of the Gauteng family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit (FCS), who led the investigation in South Africa, said the man had not paid the money and remained behind bars.
Yesterday, however, the man’s father said the money had been paid and his son was back at home.
When asked if his son would speak to Weekend Post the father said: “He’s not available. A friend picked him up and he is out for supper.”
The suspect man was tracked down after the arrest of an alleged paedophile in Belgium in October.
While using the suspect’s profile, members of the Antwerp police child sexual exploitation unit found the Plettenberg Bay man’s internet address after coming across a cyber meeting space for alleged paedophiles with fetishes including the sexual assault of babies.
After contacting the Gauteng FCS, a lengthy investigation, known as Operation Cloud 9, was put in place and police swooped on the man’s home where he . He was found asleep. in a bedroom when police arrived.
This is not the first time that the Garden Route has been rocked.
by sordid paedophile scandals and two other men will appear in court on Monday on child pornography and abuse.
A George father will appear after his arrest for allegedly drugging his 12-year-old daughter and six of her friends during sleep-overs, raping them and taking photographs of the naked young girls.
Another Garden Route man, a teacher, also has to appear in court on Monday after allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old pupil at the Fraaisig Primary School, in Knysna, in 2013.
The 52-year-old former teacher at the school was arrested after he allegedly pinned a pupil against a wall in the school’s photocopying room after she had helped him hand out documents to teachers. He allegedly covered her mouth with his hands and pulled her pants down before sexually assaulting her. He denies the charges.
– Additional reporting Yolande Stander