The Jakarta Metro Police has uncovered a large group of alleged pedophiles who used Facebook as a means to share images of their abuse victims.
Authorities believe that children victimized by members of the group number in the thousands, since it’s mandatory for every member to share photos and/or videos of themselves sexually abusing a child. In addition, every new post must feature a new victim.
As of last week, the group reportedly had 7,479 members.
“Based on that, then automatically [the number of victims are also in the thousands]. But we will move forward [with the investigation] with facts,” said Grand Commissioner Wahyu Hadiningrat, director of the Special Crimes Unit at the Jakarta Metro Police, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.
Police arrested the group’s four administrators recently. The group’s founder, identified as Malang resident Wawan, is known to have at least abused two girls, aged 8 and 12. Another admin, identified as Depok resident DF, admitted to abusing 6 children in 2011.
The group was created in 2016. Police say none of the administrators actually knew each other in person.
Police say they are hunting all current and former members who have posted content onto the group.
Children who have been victimized by members of the group will be rehabilitated by the Women’s Empowerement and Child Protection Ministry.