- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2014

Child abuse investigators have busted an organized crime ring that live-streamed video out of the Philippines of minors forced to engage in sexual acts.

“This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with,” said Andy Baker, the deputy director of Britain’s National Crime Agency, in Thursday’s remarks to The Associated Press. “Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind, they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas.”

British authorities, along with investigators in the United States and Australia, said they arrested 29 people in 12 countries who had paid to watch the live-streamed acts of abuse.

The investigation kicked off in 2012. With this latest bust, 15 children between the ages of 6 and 15 were rescued from the ring, AP reported.

It all started when British authorities paid a routine visit to Timothy Ford, a registered sex offender, and found suspicious videos on his computer that they characterized as indecent. The police contacted child abuse investigators, and that led to the global query involving law enforcement from a number of countries.

So far, the investigation, “Operation Endeavor,” has identified 733 possible child abuse suspects. Mr. Ford was sentenced in March to more than eight years in prison on charges related to child abuse, AP reported.