By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
2 September 2009
Five children being kept as sex slaves by paedophiles who broadcast daily abuse of their victims over the internet have been rescued by police from homes in Scotland and England and placed in care.
The boys and girls, aged from seven to 13, were freed in a series of raids last month as part of an investigation by a specialist Scottish unit set up to oversee inquiries into serious sexual crimes.
The operation was launched when evidence of the internet abuse was obtained following the arrest of a man in central Scotland for alleged sex offences. Three of the children were found at undisclosed locations in Scotland and two more were later discovered in England as a result of the initial raids.
The investigation was supported by Scotland's National Sex Crimes Unit, a team of senior prosecutors who under the Scottish legal system are able to direct and offer advice on ongoing police operations.
Derek Ogg QC, the barrister who heads the unit, said: "This was one of our most harrowing and disturbing cases but it clearly demonstrated the value of, and real need for, the unit. It was a fantastic result for good, old-fashioned police and detective work."
Police declined to reveal further details of the investigation but said legal proceedings were now active against several individuals.