arrest 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
Thirty suspected pedophiles appeared before the Ramle Magistrate’s Court on
Thursday, two days after they were arrested in the largest police operation
against sex offenders to date.
The remand sessions continued well into
Thursday evening. Some of the suspects were
ordered to remain in custody until Sunday. A few were released.
heard the remand sessions behind closed doors at the request of the attorneys of
the suspected pedophiles – in a move designed to protect their clients’
identities A police source familiar with the investigation said law enforcement
would have preferred to hold the remand sessions openly.
“We want to name
the suspects, in order to see if others come forward after recognizing them,”
the source told The Jerusalem Post
The arrests came after police spent
three months posing as a young girl and a young boy in popular online chat
rooms, attracting the attention of offenders who lurked on the sites and preyed
After getting their targets to enter personal one-to-one chats,
the suspected pedophiles made phone contact, and the calls were answered by an
undercover female officer pretending to be a child.
Police were shocked
at the ease with which innocent online conversations quickly became perversely
In some cases, suspects carried out lewd acts on web cameras, and
encouraged sexual acts on the part of the children they believed they were
In other cases they sought to arrange a meeting for the
purpose of having intercourse with minors, and were filmed by police waiting at
meeting points and speaking on the phone with the undercover officer. One
suspected pedophile allegedly arrived with condoms.
“We want to distance
sex offenders from the kids, increase our deterrence against them and raise the
alertness of parents to the dangers inherent in home computers,” Central
district police chief, Cmdr. Bentsi Sao, said earlier this week.