More arrests imminent in child porn case

JUNE 18, 2015

The police on Wednesday said that investigations were complete and the State ready for the trial of William Beale (37), who is facing charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

The case was postponed to 14 August when Beale appeared in the Regional Court in Knysna on the same day - to allow time for copies of the docket and the charge sheet to be submitted to the defence attorney, Carl Jenne.

The investigation team worked very hard to retrieve images from Beale’s computer, which he had deleted. Beale was arrested on 13 January, appeared in court on 14 January in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrate court and was released on bail R10 000. The case was postponed to 22 April in Plettenberg Bay and postponed 17 June in the Regional Court Knysna.

Beale is one of the 41 men arrested for child pornography in South Africa since the launch of this special investigation team last year. The suspects are still on trial in various courts all over the country.

A further 34 suspects have been identified and will soon be arrested.

“The investigation team is doing fantastic work. However, this is the tip of the iceberg as child pornography is rife. The exploitation of children by sexual predators prowling the internet is a huge problem for the police, here in South Africa and abroad.

"Perpetrators of these crimes can easily creep into our homes and get hold of our children through smart gadgets as well as through widely available social media platforms.

"The SAPS is very serious about dealing with online child sexual exploitation, hence we have been working with other law enforcement agencies all over the world. It is through our co-operation with the likes of Interpol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Canadian police and the Belgian police that we were able to identify some perpetrators and bring them to justice,” said SAPS National Commissioner General Riah Phiyega.

140 Suspects all over the world with the same images found in the possession of Beale have been identified since his arrest in January, of these, 15 have already been arrested.

Beale’s arrest and leads have been sent to the Europol Cyber Crime Centre and other Interpol offices and include countries like Belgium, USA, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, The Czech Republic, France, UK, Canada, Algeria, Israel, Brazil, Austria, Mexico, Russia, Denmark, Ireland and Croatia.