Thursday, January 25, 2024

Three more suspects linked to child pornography arrested in WC

A 32-year-old man from Mitchell’s Plain was arrested on Friday, after he was found to be chatting and luring underage girls on a chat group where nude pictures were exchanged.

Shannon Manuel, was one of three suspects arrested, last week, following an investigation by a joint operation by the SAPS Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit and the USA Department of Homelands Security.

This brings to total the number of Child Online Sexual Predators that have been arrested since November to seven.

SAPS’ spokesperson, Athlende Mathe said the other four were arrested in November last year. Three were arrested in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal. She said these arrests form part of an international operation to trace manufacturers, users, and distributors of child pornography.

PICTURE: Pixabay

The three suspects of last week, were arrested in Worcester, Kraaifontein and Mitchell’s Plain.

A 53-year-old man from Worcester, Garth van West, was the first to be arrested on Wednesday, 17 January 2024. He has so far been found with 95 000 images and 6000 videos of child pornography. He faces a charge of accessing, distributing and possession of child pornography.

The second suspect, a 40-year-old man Corné van Rooyen, was arrested in Kraaifontein on Thursday, 18 January 2024. In his possession, he was found with more than 149 000 pictures of child pornography as well as more than 5000 videos. He was found in possession of two unlicensed firearms and various calibre of ammunition, as well as 9 snakes of which three did not have a permit. He is facing charges of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, possession, distribution and accessing of child pornography.

Shannon Manuel was the third suspect to be arrested on Friday, 19th January 2024. He was found to be chatting and luring underage girls on chat group where nude pictures where exchanged.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that the trio appeared before various courts in Worcester, Kraaifontein and Mitchells Plain where their cases were postponed for further investigation.

“Garth van West appeared at the Worcester Magistrates Court charged with child pornography possession, distribution, downloading, among others. He made his first appearance on 18 January and his next court date is 25 January, formal bail application.

Van Rooyen, who appeared at the Blue Downs Magistrates Court on 22 January, was charged with the possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, possession, distribution and access of child pornography, as well as charges relating to the Animals Protection Act. Van Rooyen’s case returns to the court for a formal bail application on 30 January.

Manuel appeared at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court on Monday and was charged with possession of child pornography, distribution, downloading and possible grooming charges. His case was postponed to 29 January.

Ntabazalila said in all three matters, the State will oppose bail.


Done By: Mitchum George

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