SINGAPORE - A teenager has admitted in a district court that he once had in his possession a total of 1,282 sexually explicit images and videos of children.
The youth was just 16 years old in April 2020 when he was caught in a raid after international law enforcement agency Interpol Ottawa in Canada alerted Singapore police about a local Internet protocol (IP) address linked to the transmission of child sexual abuse material.
Local authorities later found incriminating material in devices such as his phone.
The offender, now 19, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of being in possession of child abuse material.
He cannot be named, as he was below 18 when he committed the offence. Such individuals are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.
In September 2019, the youth downloaded Kik, a Canada-based messaging platform, onto his phone, as he was bored. He started communicating with a random Kik user who asked him if he watched pornography involving minors.
The user sent a link to the youth and gave him instructions on how to download the pornographic material. He then downloaded numerous sexually explicit videos and images, including those involving children.
The teenager knew that being in possession of child pornography is a criminal offence, said the prosecution.
Some time between September and November 2019, he sent one such obscene image to another Kik user, and was suspended from the platform.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong said: “He panicked and immediately uninstalled the application from the phone, but did not delete the pornographic material that he had downloaded.”
In November 2019, Interpol Ottawa told Singapore police about the local IP address linked to the obscene image that the teenager had sent.
Officers raided his home on April 29, 2020, and found incriminating material on his phone.
On Wednesday, the court called for a report to assess his suitability for probation. He is expected to be sentenced on Feb 7, 2023.