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June 24, 2017

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Bangladesh arrests key suspect in gang-based child pornography case

DHAKA, Bangladesh--Bangladesh police have arrested a leading writer for running an organized gang that used street children in pornographic films for foreign clients, an official said Sunday.

A.Y.M Fakhruzzaman, popularly known by his pen-name Tipu Kibria, was arrested early last week along with three of his accomplices after a tip-off from the international police organization Interpol, police said.

"We acted immediately after we were informed by Interpol," said Shah Alam, a senior official in the police Criminal Investigation Department, adding the offences began in 2005.

Kibria, 47, has written more than 50 books and his six horror novels for young and adolescent readers are best-sellers. He also edited a magazine for young readers for years.

Police found several thousand pornographic photos and some videos of street children at his studio in Dhaka's Mugda neighborhood, Alam told AFP.

"What we have found is beyond our imagination. It'll take weeks to sort them out," he added.

Police also rescued a 12-year-old child from the studio.

"He told a magistrate how he was lured and abused by this gang," Alam said, adding the writer and his accomplices had admitted their crimes.

"Since 2005, they have abused around 400 male children, mostly aged between 10-12 years. Their main target was street children," he said, adding photos and films were sold to selected clients across the globe.

"We've found Western Union receipts of money remitted by foreign clients to this gang," Alam said. "They also brought some pedophile foreigners to the country and hired street children for their entertainment."

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