The Exposed “Video Gay Kids” (VGK) Case: One Step Ahead on the Eradication of Online Child Pornography in Indonesia

Based on the report and cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Jakarta Regional Police have arrested the suspected perpetrators of Online Child Pornography network. The suspects, YUL (19), HER aka UHER (30), and IK (30), allegedly traded same-sex pornographic videos of minors through several social media in their online moniker “Video Gay Kids (VGK)”.¬†They were arrested at different places in the Nataya III operation.

The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) is deeply concerned about the case and appreciates the steps taken by the Jakarta Regional Police in exposing the Online Child Pornography atrocity. ICJR considers that this case of Online Child Pornography is among the big cases ever exposed by the police considering the large number of evidences found. Previously in 2017, the Police has also exposed the perpetrators of Online Child Pornography in a Facebook group called “Candy Loly Group”. In the operation Nataya I and Nataya II, the Police managed to capture the International child pornography syndicate: Candy 1 and Candy 2.

Online Child Pornography_Indonesia

In the case of Video Gay Kids (VGK). YUL, one of the suspects, acted as the adminstrator of @VGKSale twitter account and VGK Premium Group in Telegram. YUL was arrested at his residence in Purworejo, Central Java on 5 September 2017. HER a.k.a UHER who played a role as the content provider from twitter accounts @NeoHermawan2 and @febrifebri745 was arrested in Garut, West Java on 7 September 2017. While IK, who were the user of @FreeVGK69 twitter account and his own blog, was captured in Bogor, West Java. These actors joined several groups in applications like Telegram and Whatsapp to obtain the photos and videos. They had affiliations in 49 countries in order to search, sell and advertise the child pornography contents. Each suspect has followers of more or less 1,000 people.

From the total of 750 thousands of child pornography photos and videos, the Jakarta Regional Police Laboratory’s Inquiry shows that 40 percent of the photos and videos have malay look. Related to the identification of the victims, ICJR supports the Jakarta Regional Police’s steps in coordination with the FBI, the National Missing and Exploitation Children of Interpol, Homeland Security Investigation and Europol to identify child victims found in the 750.000 photos and videos. It is important to take all necessary measures to strengthen the cross-border cooperation through multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements in the context of prevention, pre-investigation, investigation, prosecution and punishment for those who are responsible for the acts related to child pornography.

With Internet users as much as 78 million people or 31% of the total population, and 5% of total internet users in Asia with access through Mobile network is as much as 341.8 million people or 132% of the total population, tracking on this kind of violation, online child pornography, on the internet is a big challenge. The number of online child pornography cases found in Indonesia persist every year. Based on ECPAT’s Monitoring in Indonesia since September 2016 to February 2017, there were six cases with the number of victims reached 157 children, they are found in 4 (four) Indonesia’s Provinces and 6 (six) Regencies. ICJR oversees that based on the Cybercrime Unit of Indonesia Headquarter Police’s data, in 2015 the cases of child pornography in the Internet were 29 reports, while in 2016 there was only 1 report. However, cases that go to the prosecution stage are still in small-scale, in 2015 there was only 1 case that can be processed and in 2016 there was no information on how many cases have been processed.

ICJR encourages the law enforcement to use multiple criminal charges in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. Indonesia already has Law No. 44 of 2008 regarding Pornography, Law No. 19 of 2016 on Amendment to Law No. 11 of 2008 concerning Information and Electronic Transaction, Law No. 17 of 2016 on the Act of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 1 of 2016 concerning the Second Amendment to Law No. 23 of 2002 on the Child Protection and the Criminal Code.

The use of multiple criminal charges is justifiable if the suspected perpetrators were found not only merely uploaded/distributed the child pornography contents but uploaded the contents, produced child pornographic materials and committed sexual violence to the victims. In that case, multiple criminal charges is seen as fitting to be given because what they did can cause an unhelathy impact for the children either now or in the future. The adoption of multiple criminal charges for the perpetrators is expected to be an important milestone in upholding justice for children and families affected.

ICJR also urges that with this case being handled, the syndicate can be exposed. All the perpetrators should be taken responsible for their actions. The evidences filed in the court must also be more adequate and reliable. The search for evidence is important to do it thoroughly so that not only a handful of perpetrators brought to justice, but all of the people that involved in the action.

Online Child Pornography is still one of the great enemies of Indonesian law enforcement. The Government of Indonesia is expected to immediately carry out the preventive measures as provided in the Optional Protocol of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the Sale of Child, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography which has been signed on 24 September 2001 and ratified through the Law No. 10 Year 2012. The signing of the Optional Protocol is one of Indonesia commitments as part of the international community.

ICJR also recommends a strong cooperation from online service providers such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Twitter and others to actively conduct integrated supervision and efforts to prevent child pornography activities, both in its internal system and also for the law enforcement. In this case, they are also invited to actively collaborate with Indonesian Police.

Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR)

Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono
Executive Director


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