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US court postpones trial of Phuket-based child porn suspect

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PHUKET: The trial of a Ukrainian man arrested in Phuket and recently extradited to the United States for alleged involvement in international distribution of child pornography over the internet has been postponed to November.

Maksym Shynkarenko, 33 at the time of his arrest, was taken into custody here in January 2009 at his luxury villa in Chalong through the collaborative efforts of the Phuket Tourist Police, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

The District Attorney’s Office of New Jersey reported that Shynkarenko was charged with 32 federal offenses, including advertising child “adult content”, running a child exploitation enterprise, and money laundering.

According to the Indictment, Shynkarenko handed over tens of thousands of pictures and videos containing images of children, ranging in age from infants to teenagers, being sexually assaulted and abused. The images were submitted by subscribers to his child hardcore sex sites.

“Shyknarenko’s extradition from Thailand to a New Jersey courtroom is a milestone in one of our most important fights – keeping our children safe from harm,” said US Attorney Paul Fishman.

Shyknarenko allegedly operated a network of websites with names including “Illegal.CP,” “The Sick Child Room,” “Hottest Childporn Garden” and “Pedo Heaven”.

Though the websites allegedly had customers worldwide, the investigation has already led to 560 convictions in the United States, making it “the most successful child XXX content investigation in the nation’s history.”

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents first located the site Illegal.CP in October 2005.

“The banner page of the site identified it as ‘Illegal.CP,’ featuring more than a dozen images of minors engaged in sexual acts with other minors and adults, and proclaimed, ‘[n]ow you are in [sic] few minutes away from the best children porn site on the net!’ and ‘[i]f you join this site you will get tons of uncensored forbidden pics… forbidden stories, and, of course, many videos’. The page also featured purported feedback from a self-described pedophile who praised the website,” read a New Jersey District Attorney’s Office press release.

Upon accessing the “Illegal.CP” website, the initial page warned subscribers as follows:

FAQ, Please read. “Our site is considered to be illegal in all countries….
Even if you ever have problems with police, you can always say that
someone had stolen the information from your credit card and used it. It is
very difficult to establish that you were the person to pay.”

The subsequent investigation of subscribers to “Illegal.CP” has led to the arrests of numerous individuals who were actively molesting children, read the press release.

Federal authorities say those convicted included teachers, clergy, law enforcement officers, lawyers, doctors, coaches and others who came into regular contact with minors.

“Distributors and consumers of child pornography create a market for sexual assaults on children, where the victimization of those children is refreshed with every download,” US Attorney Fishman said.

Shynkarenko has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges against him.

Also, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Dikusarov said on June 12 that Ukrainian investigators “did not find anything” that would constitute a crime in Shynkarenko’s actions, reported AP.

However, if Shynkarenko is found guilty on all counts, he faces more than 500 years of imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines.

 

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