Cops nail Kowie child porn kingpin

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An Eastern Cape guesthouse owner, who is the alleged kingpin of an international child porn syndicate, has been arrested in a joint raid by police and the FBI.

Plans are now underway to have the 53-year Grahamstown man extradited to the US to stand trial for the abuse of 600 girls.

For years the man, who cannot be named until he appears in court today, allegedly pretended to be a teenage girl, conning his victims into performing sexual acts on themselves which he recorded and then streamed over the internet.

The suspect, who faces charges of possession, manufacturing and distributing child pornography, is the administrator of a website linked to paedophiles in the US, Canada and Europe.

Police from the Gauteng Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit were tipped off by Interpol after seven people were arrested in the US.

Unit commander Colonel Heila Niemand confirmed the arrest and the extradition plans.

“The FBI want him extradited as most of the 600 girls, aged between eight and 13, are from the US.”

She said the man allegedly sourced his victims through social media websites by pretending to be a teenager.

“Once he found a victim he would gain their trust, getting them to perform sexual acts which he recorded.

“He would use these videos to con other girls into doing the same thing, grooming his victims over time. Each of these victims are different and none know each other,” she said.

Niemand said it was the first time a kingpin of a child porn syndicate had been arrested in South Africa.

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