October 8th, 2007 05:04 EST
LYON, France " INTERPOL is making a public worldwide request for assistance in identifying a man photographed sexually abusing children in a series of images posted on the Internet, the first time the organization has made such an appeal.
Although the original photographs had been digitally altered by him or his accomplices to disguise his face, specialists from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in Germany working with INTERPOL`s Trafficking in Human Beings unit have been able to produce an identifiable picture.
Despite extensive global efforts to identify and locate this individual through INTERPOL`s network of 186 National Central Bureaus and specialist units, the man`s identity and nationality still remain unknown.
`For years images of this man sexually abusing children have been circulating on the Internet. We have tried all other means to identify and to bring him to justice, but we are now convinced that without the public`s help this sexual predator could continue to rape and sexually abuse young children whose ages appear to range from six to early teens,` said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
`We have very good reason to believe that he travels the world in order to sexually abuse and exploit vulnerable children and as an 186-member country police organization, INTERPOL is uniquely positioned to co-ordinate this global effort to identify and bring him to justice,` added Mr Noble.
The search for the individual has been codenamed Vico after analysis of the photographs, around 200 in total featuring 12 different young boys, established that the pictures were taken in Vietnam and Cambodia.
`The decision to make public this man`s picture was not one which was taken lightly, but after thoughtful consideration and with the full agreement of experts from INTERPOL`s member countries dedicated to fighting this appalling criminal activity,` said Kristin Kvigne, Assistant Director of INTERPOL`s Trafficking in Human Beings Unit.
`We are certainly not encouraging members of the public to take any direct action themselves, particularly since any positive identification would need to be confirmed law enforcement authorities but if anyone recognizes this person, or has any information that could help investigators, please contact the police or INTERPOL National Central Bureau in your country.`
The photographs of the man can be seen on the INTERPOL website, www.interpol.int. Any questions, information or comments can be sent to INTERPOL`s Trafficking in Human Beings Unit via the following link http://www.interpol.int/public/thb/vico/default.asp
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