Author`s name Ольга Савка

Criminal group involves 1,500 under-age Ukrainian girls in porn business with parents' knowledge

Disguised as a modeling agency, the firm rented a studio in the center of Kiev

Ukrainian law-enforcement authorities have recently filed a criminal case against a local company, which was producing and distributing child pornography. Investigators determined that over 1,500 under-age girls had been involved in the illegal porn business.

The chairman of the department for struggle with human trafficking crimes, Mikhail Andreyenko, told reporters on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 that the preliminary investigation on the case had been completed. The exact court and the date of the hearings have not been coordinated yet.

The Criminal Investigation Department of the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry detected and neutralized the criminal group in July of 2004. Disguised as a fashion model agency, the group was making pornographic photographs and films with participation of teenage girls, from 8 to 16 years old. The criminals uploaded the video footage and pictures on foreign pornsites. The Ukrainian police arrested the organizers of the “modeling business.”

The criminals rented a studio in the center of Kiev, the Ukraine's capital, in which video and photo shoots were conducted, Interfax reports. The illegal firm had its branch offices in other Ukrainian cities, Kharkov and Simferopol. It turned out that the criminals were telling girls' parents that their children were working in the modeling business. The girls were paid from $10 to $40 for a photo session.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry said that the majority of girls' parents knew, or had a suspicion of their children's “work,” although no one went to the police to report the crime, Interfax said.

The so-called modeling agency existed for three years. The firm was advertising its activity in the Ukrainian media, including newspapers. The firm's monthly income was estimated at about $100 thousand, investigators said.

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