Police are to investigate three suspected Irish pedophiles outed by a major international sting operation, which has identified more than a thousand predators in 65 countries.
A dossier handed to Interpol by the Dutch children’s rights charity Terre des Hommes identifies the three Irish suspects.
They were stung by a major international operation conducted by the charity.
Suspected pedophiles were tricked into believing they were talking online to a 10-year-old girl from the Philippines named Sweetie.
The three Irish suspects, two of whom believed to be parents themselves according to the paper, were caught attempting to pay a young girl to perform sexual acts in front of a web camera.
The report says all of the computer users offered to pay the girl to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam when they were, in fact, talking with a team of researchers.
A sophisticated computer programme generated lifelike video images of a virtual girl.
Researchers from the charity were able to gather details during the online conversations to establish the identities of many of those they were dealing with.
The three identified as living in Ireland were identified after sharing personal information.
One of the researchers told the Irish Independent: “A couple of the Irish guys had children of their own. That was one of the most terrifying things we saw.”
Officers at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit at Harcourt Square in Dublin are awaiting full details from Interpol and the charity before questioning the three suspects.
A police source said: “This sort of information will be treated extremely seriously and we will carry out our own investigations once the information is received from Interpol.”
The dossier includes the names of suspected pedophiles and footage of them taken via their own webcams.
Terre des Hommes director of projects Hans Guyt told the paper that the practice of “webcam child sex tourism” is largely unknown, but quickly spreading.
The new form of child exploitation has already got tens of thousands of victims involved in the Philippines alone.
Guyt said: “Rising internet usage and persistent poverty in the developing world have fostered the emergence of a rapidly growing new form of online child exploitation.
“If we don’t intervene soon, this sinister phenomenon will totally run out of control.”
The charity director revealed that four researchers with the charity conducted the sting operation over the course of two months earlier this year when they posed as a 10-year-old Filipino girl in internet chat rooms.
He added: “Without offering any sexual services, the researchers were swamped, like an avalanche with requests to perform sexual acts on camera.
“They were absolutely overwhelmed by a constant demand from predators for sex shows via webcams. But while they thought they were chatting with a Filipino girl, they were being traced.”
Guyt also insisted that the charity’s sting operation did not amount to entrapment as Sweetie never at any point offered any sexual services.
He said: “We have been very careful not to fall into that trap. We identified ourselves time and time again as a 10-year-old. We did not solicit anyone.”
“Never did we accept payments or hack computers. All of the information was offered by the person themselves.”