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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Shutterstock/Anastassiya Bezhekeneva
# operation ketch
Arrest over distribution of 'child sex dolls' as gardaí raid 32 premises
Digital material, computers and mobile phones were seized in the searches which took place over the last five days.

GARDAÍ HAVE CONDUCTED raids on 32 premises across the country over the last five days as part of an operation targeting the distribution of child abuse material on the internet. One person has been arrested for allegedly facilitating the distribution of child sex dolls online.

Operation Ketch III is the third phase of this operation which aims to track down people suspected of possessing, importing and distributing this material online. Officers are also tasked with identifying child protection concerns at the premises searched and engaging with Tusla, the child and family agency.

Raids have been carried out in a total of twelve counties across the country in the last five days. Gardaí said the undertaking of a number of additional follow-up searches in the near future is anticipated.

Digital material, computers and mobile phones were seized and will be subject of forensic examination.

One of the searches targeted an individual who is suspected of selling and facilitating the online distribution of child sex dolls. This person was arrested and was detained for questioning but has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Gardaí are liaising with Tusla about any child protection concerns that arise.

Personnel attached to the Online Child Exploitation Unit (OnCE), located at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB), carried out the recent searches, assisted by officers attached to Divisional Protection Service Units (DPSUs) and local district detective units.

Over the course of the three phases of this operation, more than 100 suspects have been targeted.

The July raids were the first in which child sex dolls were seized by the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB).

Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, who heads the bureau, said gardaí wish to reassure the public, that through operations like this, they will “continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in the possession, importation and distribution of child abuse material and who pose a danger to children within our communities”.

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