More then two dozen New Zealand children have been exploited
for online pornography in the last four years, with some of
the material traded through criminal networks.
Figures obtained by Radio New Zealand showed since 2008, a
special police unit had caught 11 people taking pictures or
videos of 26 children.
The figures, released under the Official Information Act,
revealed four of the children were exploited by criminals
based in Italy, the United States, Finland and Canada where
images of the victims were uncovered during international
operations, RNZ reported.
The head of the police online child exploitation unit,
Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, said in some cases
offenders were working in crime rings.
"(But) while there are rings there, you have individuals that
are not part of any group that are able to go to those areas
of the internet where they know they'll be able to get
He said criminals posed as children on social network
websites to find victims who take explicit pictures of
"It's often associated with teenage risk-taking behaviour.
"But the problem is that once you take an image of yourself
and send it to someone else, you lose all control over it and
what that does is it opens the door, potentially, for people
to say 'you sent me this image and if you don't send more
explicit images, then I'm going to post all of these images
to all the people that are in your social networking
Mr Michael said in many cases, the abuser is known to the
A Department of Internal Affairs spokesman said images were
getting more violent, showing people being raped or tortured.
The department uses undercover agents to go online to flush