TAIPEI: Police in Taiwan arrested 45 suspects in the island’s biggest ever crackdown on child pornography, officials said yesterday.

The clampdown last week targeted more than 50 locations as part of efforts to break up an international child pornography ring, in an operation codenamed “Angel Action”, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said.

All the suspects were released after initial interrogation but would face further questioning by prosecutors, Yang Yuan-ming, deputy commissioner of the bureau, told reporters. Anyone found guilty of distributing child pornography in Taiwan faces up to three years in jail and a fine of up to Tw$5 million ($165,000).

The Taiwan chapter of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) hailed the operation as “a big success”.

The crackdown came after ECPAT Taiwan last year tipped off US authorities about two pornographic websites set up in the United States. The websites have carried child pornography since 2007, with each attracting at least one million paid members, Lee Li-feng, secretary-general of ECPAT Taiwan, said.—AFP

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