BRASILIA, Brazil – An INTERPOL training course in Brazil has led to the arrest of a man suspected of sexually abusing an infant, as well as the production, possession and distribution of online child sexual abuse material.
The two-week (7-18 May) training course, which was held in partnership with the Brazilian Federal Police, focused on the use of INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database to identify victims of abuse and ultimately, their abusers.
Training with an impact
During the course, 22 federal and state police officers analysed ongoing cases, some involving Brazilian children, and were trained on the latest techniques in investigating online child sexual exploitation.
One of the videos, which dated back to 2014, involved a six month-old baby.
Because they were working on ‘live’ cases, officers immediately put theory into practice. They were able to identify language elements and other details, which led them to a suspect who was a member of the child’s family.
Last week, Brazilian Federal Police officers arrested the suspect in Foz do Iguaçu. At the time of his arrest, police seized DVDs, mobile devices, cameras and hard drives that had been used to store, produce and distribute child sexual abuse material.
Based on the information gathered at the scene, Brazilian officials are now investigating two other cases involving the same suspect.
Valdecy Urquiza, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities unit, hailed the training session as an operational success: “We are always just one connection, one clue away from a break in a case. All it takes is the right person with the right tools and skills to make that connection. That is what INTERPOL strives to bring to the world’s police.”
“This case reinforces the importance of the ICSE database in identifying victims of abuse, but especially for the need to keep connecting new countries, training investigators and sharing information.”
The International Child Sexual Exploitation database
Available through INTERPOL’s secure global police communications system (known as I-24/7), the ICSE database uses sophisticated image and video comparison software to make connections between victims, abusers and places. It allows specialized investigators from 54 member countries, as well as Europol, to share data with colleagues across the world.
By analysing the digital, visual and audio content of photographs and videos, victim identification experts can retrieve clues, identify any overlap in cases and combine their efforts to locate victims of child sexual abuse.
The arrest in Brazil comes as INTERPOL is launching an upgrade to the ICSE database. Version 4 provides specialized officers with enhanced features such as a more efficient upload process, advanced sorting of videos and images, statistics, chat functions between officers and interconnection with national child exploitation databases. ICSE version 4 is the culmination of a 30-month project funded with the support of the European Commission.
To date, more than 14,000 victims have been identified via the ICSE database, leading to the arrest of nearly 6,300 offenders worldwide.