SINGAPORE: Twenty-two men between the ages of 19 and 52 were arrested in an operation targeting online child sexual exploitation activities, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Saturday (Oct 30).
"They 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," said SPF in a news release.
"Another six men are also assisting the police in investigations for obscene material and offences under the Films Act."
Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department made the arrests during a four-week operation at various locations, including Tampines Street, Hougang Street, Choa Chu Kang Grove and Dakota Crescent.
Raids were also conducted at Compassvale Walk, Pasir Ris Street, Bukit Batok East and Boon Lay Drive.
"Electronic devices including computers, handphones and hard disks were seized," said the police.
Under the Penal Code, anyone found guilty of having in their possession or gained access to child abuse material, and knows or has reason to believe that the material is child abuse material, faces a jail term of up to five years as well as a fine or caning.
Those convicted of distributing, selling or offering child abuse material for sale, or knowingly have in their possession child abuse material for such purposes, may be jailed for up to seven years as well as fined or caned.
For hiring, distributing, transmitting by electronic means, publicly exhibiting or in any manner putting into circulation, or for such purposes has in his possession any obscene material, a convicted offender may be jailed up to three months, fined or both.
An offence under the Films Act carries a fine of up to S$20,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.
"The police will continue to take tough enforcement action against online child sexual exploitation activities, including possession and distribution of child abuse materials," said SPF.
"Those found engaging in such activities will be dealt sternly in accordance with the law."