Pictures and videos of sex acts between adult men and boys aged 11 to 15 are being shared and discussed in chat groups, says an activist who infiltrated one group.
Fazrysham Kamran said he learned that there were three groups on WhatsApp. Many members said they found the boys through WeChat, another popular messaging application.
“It’s scary. The group I observed was constantly being updated with photos and videos of sex acts between adult men and young boys,” he told FMT in an interview.
“They would go on to describe their disgusting sex acts and how they attracted the boys, and also describe the private parts of the boys in great detail,” said Fazrysham, who is better known as Sham.
Sham and seven other friends are members of a social action NGO called Komuniti Harmoni Kita which they started just over a year ago after reading media reports about paedophile cases.
The group reaches out to schoolchildren to raise awareness on pedophilia, teaching them how to stay safe, where an adult isn’t supposed to touch them and what to do if they’ve been touched inappropriately.
While on Facebook a week ago, Sham made a disturbing find: someone posted a picture of a 14-year old boy in a private group for homosexuals, saying “his boy” was handsome.
Disturbing comments followed.
Sham and his partner, Mohd Shahrulnizam Alias then signed up to join a WhatsApp group being promoted by some commenters in the Facebook group.
“There were 248 people in that group alone. I understand there are three other groups because a WhatsApp chat group can only accommodate 250 people at the time.”
From what he saw in the WhatsApp group, some 90% of the victims were Malay boys aged between 11 to 15, whose information, pictures and videos were shared in the group.
“A lot of the paedophiles in the group say they find the boys through WeChat and say that many of the boys are boarding school students. Some of the paedophiles aren’t afraid to talk about themselves, one person I chatted with said he is an engineer with kids of his own.”
Sham said parents must limit the time their children spend on gadgets and give attention to their children so they do not turn elsewhere.
“Pedophiles know how to gain a child’s trust, they know just what to say,” he said. “I think it’s easier for paedophiles to target children this age because they are curious, want attention and they have access to social media.”
He has lodged three police reports on the paedophile activities he has found on the Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Sham said a challenge in getting victims to speak up was that the boys had often been shown so much attention and care by the paedophiles that they fear losing the relationship by speaking up.
“We try to encourage victims to be brave, but most of the time, those who come to see us for help, only step forward a few years after the incident.”
Two years ago, British paedophile Richard Huckle was exposed in a British court when he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on 22 charges of preying on children in Malaysia.
The court was told he had abused close to 200 children aged between six months and 12 years over nearly nine years from 2006. – FMT