Dutch national held in city for child pornography

CHENNAI: The cyber crime police on Saturday arrested Will Heum (56), a Dutch national living in Chennai, for uploading child pornographic materials on the internet. Police recovered his personal computer and pornographic
materials from his house.

Heum is already facing a case in a Chengalpattu court for sexually abusing children of Little Home, an orphanage he had opened near Mamallapuram. He was arrested in May 2002. Out on bail and living in a rented house in Choolaimedu, he was uploading pictures of children being sexually abused, police said.

This is the first case of child pornography to be registered in the country under the IT Act, which came into force on October 27. Heum was booked under Section 67-B of the IT Act, 2008, which deals with digital child pornography, and remanded in judicial custody after being produced before the XI metropolitan magistrate court in Saidapet. The IT Act spells out a maximum punishment of seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh.

It was a tip-off from the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre in Germany through Interpol that led to the arrest of Heum, who has done bit roles in Tamil movies.

Initial inquiries revealed that he had uploaded video clips of foreign children. “We are interrogating him about the source of these clips. We have to verify the seized computer accessories to check if he had uploaded clips of Indian children too,” a police officer said.

“It was an example of good co-ordination between the city police and the international agencies. Cyber crime has no geographical barriers,” central crime branch DCP C Sridhar told TOI. The seized computer and accessories will be scanned for data at the new cyber lab attached to the city police commissioner’s office.

Heum was arrested in 2002 after a boy complained that he had been sexually abused. Heum came to India 30 years ago for “social work” after his wife’s death. He stayed in Mamallapuram, where he befriended several children and started an orphanage.

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