Interpol has launched an unprecedented global appeal to track down a man it says is shown sexually abusing young boys on the Internet. With his face digitally disguised, he appears in some 200 photographs, thought to have been taken in Vietnam and Cambodia, possibly in 2002 and 2003.
Police in Germany have managed to unscramble his features but, despite this, detectives are no closer to identifying him.
Interpol’s Kristin Kvigne told EuroNews why they have taken this unusual step.
“We don’t know much about this man at all. Actually, we know where the abuse has taken place, at least in the images that we have retrieved and we have a fairly good idea about his age, his range of age, but other than that we know very little about him.”
The appeal is practically guaranteed to reach millions but the method also carries substantial risks.
Kvigne said: “We will recieve a lot of information that is not accurate, that is not about the right person and we will do what police always do with information like that – we will research the information and we will take additional steps in identifying his true identity.”
The man is shown abusing boys aged between about six and 10.
Kristin Kvigne said if someone does know him, they should be extremely careful: “If the public recognises this person, they should not do anything in terms of approaching him. They should talk to their national police or they should call Interpol with information about him.”
Interpol has a huge database of child sex abuse images but throughout its 186 member states it has drawn a blank with this man.
Kvigne said: “We have exhausted all means of investigation, we feel, into getting the identity of this person so this is the last effort we are doing in trying to identify him.”
The database contains more than 520,000 images and has helped police identify and rescue nearly 600 victims from 31 countries so far.