100,000 images of kids recovered form child rapist Sohail Ayaz's computer: police

Arshad Waheed Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 100,000 photographs of children have been recovered from a convicted child rapist's computer, a police official told a Senate committee on Monday, in what comes as yet another disturbing development of the case.

In a meeting of the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication under leadership of its chairperson, Senator Rubina Khalid, the senior superintendent of police (SSP) for Rawalpindi, Faisal Khan, briefed the elected politicians on the Sohail Ayaz child pornography case.

SSP Faisal Khan noted that Ayaz's DNA had matched with that of one of the minor survivors and that some 100,000 images of kids were recovered from the child rapist's computer.

A drug test report of Ayaz and the minor survivors also came out positive, he added.

Also, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairperson informed the Committee that around 800,000 child pornography websites in the country had been blocked.

In this regard, Senator Kalsoom Perveen said child molestation cases were surfacing because action was not taken in a timely manner against videos of child sexual abuse that were uploaded on the so-called 'Dark Web'.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) should work with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to resolve this issue, the senator added.

The Committee, consequently, recommended setting up a joint investigation team to probe the Sohail Ayaz child pornography case, with Senator Khalid suggesting a law should be set up to allow the FIA's Cybercrime Wing to take suo moto notice over such incidents.

Recommending a change in the relevant law and that pertaining to the registration of complaints with the FIA, the Committee requested the agency to present a proposed amendment.

Earlier, on November 12, the alleged sexual predator had confessed to raping at least 30 minors. He had earlier been deported from both Britain and Italy after serving jail sentences for similar crimes, city police officer (CPO) for Rawalpindi, Captain Faisal Rana, said.

The CPO had also disclosed that the suspect was employed at a child protection institution in the UK and that it was there that he started to sexually abuse children. Pictures and videos were recovered from the arrested suspect.

The accused ran a child pornography group and live-streamed videos of the sexual assaults on the 'Dark Web'. Ayaz is suspected to have kidnapped and raped multiple children.

Ayaz was working with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governance and Policy Project as a consultant. According to Rawalpindi Police, Ayaz was deriving a salary of Rs300,000 and other benefits from the project since the past two years.

"The suspect is 46 years old and is a Chartered Accountant," said a spokesperson of the Rawalpindi Police. "He has been living in Rawalpindi's DHA Phase 8 area since 2009 when he was deported from the UK."