A court in Lahore, Pakistan, handed down a seven-year prison sentence and a fine of about $10,400 to a man in the country’s first-ever child pornography conviction, according to a ruling reportedly announced Thursday.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reports:
The convict, Sadat Amin, was handed the sentence by Muhammad Aamir Raza Baitu, a special judge for cyber crime cases.
During the investigation conducted by Assistant Director Cyber Crime FIA [Federal Investigation Agency] Muhammad Asif Iqbal, it was discovered that the man was part of a global child pornography racket spread across Sweden, Italy, United States and United Kingdom.
More than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were among the digital content seized from the man’s possession.
Suhail Chaudhry, a local police chief in Lahore, revealed that the FIA, Pakistan’s version of the FBI, arrested Amin following a complaint by the Norwegian government, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
“The police chief says the investigation proved Amin produced and sold porn videos of children to a Norway-based network,” AP adds.
Pakistan recently put laws into place—the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA)—granting authorities the power to crack down on child pornography.
The Pakistani investigation agency reportedly urged Islamabad to intensify the punishment for child pornography, noting that the “tech world” is evolving at a rapid pace.
An unnamed investigator told Dawn:
The world is preparing itself to combat cyber crimes being committed on dark web and deep web, which are emerging challenges for law enforcement agencies across the world. Digital currency is fast replacing traditional currency, and the new generation is spending more time in the virtual world than physical.
To deal with this, the government must wake up to its duty and equip the cyber crime wings with required technologies [to address the challenge]
The announcement of the single child pornography conviction comes after the government of India, Pakistan’s regional rival, proposed the death penalty on criminals convicted of raping children under the age of 12.
New Delhi also declared the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), prevalent among Muslim communities, as a crime.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Afghanistan, U.S.-funded and trained local forces continue to engage in the abhorrent, centuries-old custom known as “bacha bazi” (literally translates to “playing with boys”), the Department of State (DOS) revealed in its latest report on human rights practices across the globe.
The culturally sanctioned practice remains prevalent despite Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s efforts to enhance the punishment against perpetrators.
U.S. troops who intervene may face criminal charges, according to an audit by the Pentagon inspector general (IG).