UK

Kuwait abuse ring: 78 British children among victims

Two brothers, who worked together to use the internet to sexually abuse 110 children around the world, including 78 in the UK, have been jailed in Kuwait.

Mohammed Khalaf Al Ali Alhamadi, 35, and Yousef Al Ali Alhamadi, 27, targeted victims aged 12-16.

The pair were jailed at a court following an investigation led by Britain's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).

They were convicted of blackmail relating to sex abuse offences.

The pair often pretended to be someone the children already knew on social networking and instant messaging applications,

They would trick victims into giving them their online passwords using a link, before threatening them into "engaging in sexual activities via webcam," Ceop said.

Following the arrest of the abusers, Ceop worked with the Kuwaiti authorities, international police forces and child protection agencies in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Jersey, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and the United States.

Online safety

Ceop launched a media appeal in December 2011, encouraging UK victims to come forward, in order to identify them.

And a special NSPCC helpline number was set up as part of the investigation for UK children to report the men.

Ceop deputy chief executive Andy Baker said: "These two individuals mistakenly thought that they could abuse children in the UK and elsewhere and not be caught for their crimes.

"Today has seen justice for their victims after a challenging investigation.

"This illustrates once again how officers from Ceop and other law enforcement agencies will go the extra mile to protect children from abuse, wherever they are in the world.

"Offenders who think they can contact, coerce and cause harm to young people via the internet without facing the consequences need to take note of this conviction."

The centre is now asking parents who buy internet-enabled devices for their children at Christmas to consider online safety measures.

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