The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have received tens of thousands of internet protocol (IP) addresses suspected of sharing child pornography. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have received tens of thousands of internet protocol (IP) addresses suspected of sharing child pornography on the internet from international authorities over the past six years.
However, due to manpower shortage, the number of arrests and inspections carried out was pale in comparison.
PDRM Sexual, Women and Children Crime Investigation Division (D11) principal assistant director ACP Siti Kamsiah Hassan said for the period 2017 to March this year, the police received 93,368 IP addresses suspected of being involved in the activity through the information sharing system comprising members such as the International Police Criminal Organisation (Interpol), the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Centre For Missing and Exploited Children.
She said due to the lack of trained staff to filter and scrutinise the information received, only 103 IP addresses were checked which led to the arrest of 50 individuals.
“The information received will be examined by the Malaysian Internet Crime Against Children (MICAC) D11 investigation unit which currently only consists of three investigating officers with the rank of Inspector.
“As such, D11 hopes that the allocation announced by the government in Budget 2022 involving increase in staff and financial allocation can be channelled immediately, to ensure that this division can play a more effective role in tackling crimes involving children,” she told Bernama recently.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz when tabling the 2022 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat last year, said a RM13 million allocation and 100 new posts will be provided for D11 to put a stop to any form of violence and crime against children and women.
Siti Kamsiah said the working paper on D11’s plan on the allocation was submitted to the Public Service Department last March, and the division is now waiting and hoping for a positive feedback.
She said with the allocation, D11 plans to set up a MICAC in each police contingent with at least one investigating member compared to only three officers at the Bukit Aman level at present.
The requirement is necessary as browsing activities, including uploading and downloading of child pornography have been increasing every year.
“According to the information we received, in 2017 only 46 IP addresses were suspected to be involved and it increased to 2,660 IP addresses in 2018; 9,017 IP addresses in 2019; 18,508 IP addresses by 2020; 48,752 IP addresses in 2021; and 14,385 IP addresses in the first three months of this year.
“The number of arrests also saw an increase, in 2017 to 2019 only two individuals were arrested, this went up 22 people in 2020 and 24 last year, while in the first three months of this year, two people were arrested for engaging in such activities,” she said.
“The increasing trend is very worrying and there are even international enforcement agencies offering to cooperate with the PDRM to further enhance enforcement to combat such activities.
“Therefore, it is crucial to strengthen D11 and MICAC units now, in terms of staffing and equipment, so that more data related to these activities can be analysed and subsequently lead to the arrest of those involved,” she said.
Siti Kamsiah said the arrest of the 41-year-old paedophile from Lundu, Sarawak, who was sentenced to 48 years and six months in prison and 15 lashes last year, was made through information sharing.
“The paedophile not only uploaded child pornographic videos on the dark web but also admitted to molesting and grooming children since he was a student at a local university in Selangor in 2002.
“He also admitted to sharing the obscene acts with other paedophiles on the dark web,” she added. — Bernama