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The pedophile tentacles that stretch from the Philippines into Australian homes

September 28, 2017 ·  By Mark Saunokonoko for www.9news.com.au

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When Ben McCormack was pulled over by detectives driving by Moore Park in Sydney, the former Channel 9 reporter had no idea the pedophile network he was secretly communicating with was linked to a sick child cybersex den in the Philippines accused of abusing babies and making “hurtcore” torture movies.

Detectives had been covertly monitoring the online activity of McCormack for some weeks before he was arrested and raids were carried out on the A Current Affair office and his home in Alexandria in Sydney’s inner-west.

The torch had been shone on McCormack after investigators had exposed and penetrated a nation-wide online pedophile ring, following the arrest of a suspected child rapist in WA.

After a tip off from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, NSW detectives seized McCormack’s computers, a mobile phone and electronic storage devices.

Police discovered that McCormack, a surf lifesaving instructor who worked with children and teenagers, had boasted in an almost two-year archive of online messages that he was a proud “pedo” and loved young boys.

On Tuesday, McCormack pleaded guilty to child pornography charges, and could face a maximum of 15 years in jail.

McCormack’s offences – operating under the online pseudonym “oz4skinboi” – did not involve the exchange of illegal videos or images with other pedophiles lurking on the internet.

However, a former Victorian undercover cop has described to nine.com.au how the disturbing online ring McCormack was in contact with is linked through dark web “nodes” and “tentacles” to a sadistic and vile pedophile network allegedly run by a “psychopath” Australian kingpin holed up in the Philippines.

Since leaving the force, Glen Hulley now hunts pedophiles and child abusers in South East Asia.

The ex-Victoria cop who works in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines helped bring down Melbourne man Peter Gerrard Scully, and locate the body of a young Filipina girl he had allegedly murdered.

Following his arrest in 2015, Scully was hit with a massive list of charges, including murder, rape, child abuse and human trafficking.

The 54-year-old father-of-two fled to the Philippines in 2011, hoping to escape federal police and property-related fraud charges involving millions of dollars.

Once there, he allegedly set up an online cybersex den, proliferating horrific content across the dark web.

Videos and images of Scully’s alleged torture and abuse of children, including one victim said to be just 18 months old, was paid for by users with cryptocurrency bitcoin.

“[Scully] is not just a pedophile,” Hulley said. “He is one of the true psychopaths that I have come across in this industry.”

In December 2014, Australian Federal Police began working in tandem with Philippine and Dutch law enforcement to try and identify who was behind a series of videos of extreme sexual violence.

There were several major pedophile networks in Australia linked to Scully’s alleged operation, eagerly devouring the content coming out the Philippines.

Matthew David Graham, a 23-year-old Melbourne man who went by the moniker “Lux”, ran an extensive and secretive network from the confines of his bedroom at his parent’s home.

Before his arrest in August, 2014, his online empire of websites and forums hidden on “dark net” websites clocked millions of hits and had more than 1000 active users.

The FBI described Matthew David Graham's pedophile network as one of the largest and most brutal involved in child exploitation that they had ever identified.

The FBI described Matthew David Graham’s pedophile network as one of the largest and most brutal involved in child exploitation that they had ever identified.

The FBI and Interpol said Graham, a nanotechnology student, was one of the most prolific online sexual child abuse offenders and facilitators around the world.

Graham’s network specialised in “hurtcore”, the violent physical abuse of children.

That predilection meant Graham was an eager sharer of Scully’s alleged content.

Prosecutors said one of Graham’s websites had hosted Daisy’s Destruction, a video of Scully and his Filipina girlfriend allegedly sexually torturing an 18-month-old girl.

Graham eventually pleaded guilty to 13 child pornography charges.

The La Trobe University student was also accused of encouraging the rape and murder of a child in Russia, and the abuse of a disabled child in the UK.

Hulley told nine.com.au that over 1000 IP addresses had been dragged out of Scully’s hard drives in the Philippines.

Those digital identifiers were then cross referenced by special online child abuse unit run by the AFP and task forces in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, Hulley said.

“There are known tentacles that spread between pedophile networks and connect them,” Hulley said.

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“That is the nature of these online cybersex operations and file sharing sites on the dark web.”

Hulley said global law enforcement faces a “virtually impossible” task to track and chase down leads.

The FBI is alarmed by the rise of online child exploitation. It estimates that, at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online.

“It is scary when you think of how many people are involved in this type of stuff,” Hulley said.

The problem appears to be growing, according to AFP data given to nine.com.au.

In 2016, the AFP Assessment Centre received more than 8,000 reports of child exploitation.

Glen Hulley, who now heads child protection charity Project Karma, assists international law enforcement hunt pedophiles in Asia. (Supplied)

Glen Hulley, who now heads child protection charity Project Karma, assists international law enforcement hunt pedophiles in Asia. (Supplied)

In the first seven months of this year the AFP has been deluged with more than 5,600 reports of child exploitation.

“This material contains hundreds and thousands of images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation,” an AFP spokesperson said.

In a 12-month period from April 2016, the AFP charged 51 alleged offenders with 69 offences in relation to child sexual exploitation offences – including live streaming sexual abuse.

Hundreds of thousands of images and videos depicting online child sexual exploitation, as well as computers, laptops, hard drives, portable storage devices and mobile phones have also been seized.

Another pedophile kingpin taken down after Scully’s arrest was South Australian Shannon McCoole.

McCoole, now aged 33, was a former childcare worker, and he admitted sexually abusing seven children, including six that were in his care.

Shannon McCoole is fighting to reduce his 35-year jail sentence after he was exposed as the head administrator of a global child pornography website.

Shannon McCoole is fighting to reduce his 35-year jail sentence after he was exposed as the head administrator of a global child pornography website.

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Before police came knocking on his door, McCoole was the head administrator of one of the world’s biggest pedophile websites, comprised of more than 45,000 members.

McCoole’s evil forum was found to be linked with Graham’s “hurtcore” network, again underlining the synergy of members and content.

Glen Hulley said arrests from the successful toppling of online empires run by McCoole, Graham and allegedly Scully could go on for years.

“I’ve been told this network [to which Ben McCormack was linked] has some pretty high profile people,” Hulley said.

McCormack is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6.

Last year South Australian man McCoole was jailed for 35 years, but he is attempting to have his sentence cut.

In 2016 Victorian man Graham was sentenced to 15 years in jail, with a judge describing his crimes as “pure evil”.

Former Melbourne businessman Scully is currently awaiting trial in a prison in Cagayan de Oro, located in the southern Philippines.

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