SINGAPORE - The police have arrested 22 men in an islandwide operation targeting online child sexual exploitation activities.
In a statement on Saturday (Oct 30), the police said the men are suspected of being in possession of or gaining access to child abuse material, distributing child abuse material, distributing obscene material and possession of obscene material.
The men are aged between 19 and 52.
Another six men are also assisting the police in investigations for obscene material and offences under the Films Act, said the police.
In a four-week operation, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department conducted raids at multiple locations including Tampines, Hougang, Choa Chu Kang, Dakota, Compassvale, Pasir Ris, Bukit Batok East and Boon Lay.
Electronic devices including computers, mobile phones and hard disks were seized, said the police.
Under the Penal Code, any person who has in his possession or has gained access to child abuse material, and knows or has reason to believe that the material is child abuse material, shall be guilty of an offence.
If convicted, he can be jailed for up to five years and also be liable to a fine or caning.
Those who distribute, sell or offer child abuse material for sale, or have in their possession child abuse material for the purpose of such distribution, sale or offer for sale, and know or have reason to believe that the material is child abuse material, shall also be guilty of an offence, said the police.
If convicted, they may be jailed for up to seven years and may also be fined or caned.
Under the Films Act, any person who has in his possession any obscene film and is convicted may be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.
The police said they would continue to take tough enforcement action against online child sexual exploitation activities, including possession and distribution of child abuse materials.
Those found engaging in such activities will be dealt sternly in accordance with the law, they said.