Child pornography advertising on Twitter intercepted

Police interrogate Nitikorn Manop, center, at a house in Cha-am district, Phetchaburi province. (Photo provided)

PHETCHABURI: Police have arrested a suspected child pornologist who was distributing his illicit material online.

Officers, armed with a warrant issued by the criminal court, arrested Nitikorn Manop, 29, from a house in Cha-am district, Phetchaburi, on Thursday. The suspect has been charged with human trafficking, child exploitation and the production and distribution of child pornography, Major General Wiwat Khamchamnarn, head of the anti-trafficking division, said on Saturday.

The suspect ran a webpage that enticed children to appear in pornographic videos for sale.

Police followed the attacker from his Twitter page, which was followed by more than 290,000 users. The stream posted messages and other media depicting child pornography and sex acts on minors, as well as calls to join a paid secret group on the LINE messaging app. Authorities disguised themselves as interested users to stake out the group before the arrest.

Many boys under the age of 18 have been seen depicted in media broadcast in the group. Most of them were probably unaware of their involvement, investigators said.

During questioning, Mr Nitikorn told police that he was the owner and administrator of the webpage, Twitter account and LINE group.

The suspect said he filmed numerous videos broadcast on the channels. After luring the children through social media, he paid them 2,000 to 3,000 baht for sex. Most were unaware they were being filmed during the act, he added.

The suspect had been operating for more than four years before the arrest, charging people 500 to 1,000 baht to access his group.

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