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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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operation ketch

Gardaí seize 'childlike sex doll' as 14 addresses raided around country

The searches, conducted between Monday and today, were carried out as part of Operation Ketch.

FOURTEEN ADDRESSES HAVE been searched by gardaí investigating the possession and distribution of online child sexual abuse material.

A ‘childlike sex doll’ was seized at one of the locations.

The searches, conducted between Monday and today, were carried out as part of Operation Ketch, which aims to target people suspected of possessing, importing and distributing online child abuse material.

It also aims to identify child protection concerns at suspect addresses and engage with Tusla the Child and Family Agency. 

During this phase of the operation, warrants were obtained from district courts pursuant to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998. 

Searches were conducted at 14 addresses across the country by local Divisional Protection Service units and detective units.

Seven searches were carried out in Dublin, two were carried out in Cork and Waterford respectively, and one was carried out in Meath, Monaghan and Galway respectively.

At each location, gardaí seized digital material for forensic examination. A ‘childlike sex doll’ was also seized at one of the locations.

There were no arrests planned during this phase of the investigation and follow up searches will be carried out over the coming days. Arrests are expected as individual investigations progress.

Gardaí said they are maintaining liaison with Tusla in relation to child protection concerns that have arisen. 

In a statement, gardaí said: “An Garda Síochána wishes to reassure the community, through operations such as this and other ongoing work by the Online Child Exploitation unit, that we will relentlessly pursue those involved in the possession, importation and distribution of child abuse material.”

Anyone with information is asked to come forward and contact their local garda station or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111. 

Operation Ketch commenced in February 2018. 

In 2019 to date, a total of 72 addresses have been searched as part of the operation. In 2018, a total 137 addresses were searched.

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