Child porn racket

Limerick Post, Ireland: 12 January 2006

A 32 YEAR-OLD man has appeared before Limerick District Court on charges connected to a major Internet child pornography trafficking racket.

Jamie O'Carroll from Cappadine, Birdhill, is charged with possession of child pornography at his home, on September 29, 2004. He is one of several Irish citizens currently before the courts following US intelligence reports which allegedly linked them with child pornography trafficking.

The major international investigation - Operation Falcon - was launched in 2004 after investigators from the FBI identified a Florida-based company that provided credit card support to a number of sites physically located in the former Soviet Union, as well as customers.

The operation primarily targeted the financial support of the child pornography industry, and has resulted in arrests of hundreds of suspects across the US and Europe.

Customers were tracked to a Belarussian-based company, Regpay Co, Inc, which allegedly processed nearly $3m (2.54 million euro) from people seeking pornography, much of it of a child variety.

The Belarussian company allegedly operated with the help of law enforcement officials in the former Soviet Union and other arrests were subsequently made in Belarus, France and Spain.

During last week's brief court sitting, Judge Tom O'Donnell heard that the book of evidence in the case was not yet ready. The accused man did not speak during the brief appearance and he remained seated at the back of the court until well after the case was over. Judge O'Donnell adjourned the case to January 25 next at Limerick District Court.

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