More heat on M’sian paedophile

Sentenced: Alladin Lanim (centre) being led out of the Sessions Court in Kuching on Aug 16.

PETALING JAYA: Following news of the jailing of one of the most wanted paedophiles from the dark web through an international effort, Malaysian police say they are still pursuing one more case involving the Sarawakian.

In Kuching last month, Alladin Lanim, 40, was charged with 18 counts of molesting five boys and inducing them to watch pornographic videos by first luring them with mobile games on his phone.

He was jailed a total of 18-and-a-half years and given 15 strokes of the rotan after he pleaded guilty to four charges on Aug 16 and 14 charges on Aug 17 at three Sessions Courts in the Sarawak capital, the news portal Dayak Daily reported.

The offences were committed at a plantation’s quarters and a porch in the town of Lundu between 2018 and April this year.

Prior to this, however, the accused is believed to have operated under the radar for 14 years before his arrest in Lundu.

Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division (D11) principal assistant director Asst Comm Siti Kamsiah Hassan said the federal police were awaiting a forensics report before proceeding with one more case involving Alladin.

“We at the Malaysia Internet Crime Against Children (Micac) investigation unit have been investigating this case since 2019,” she said when contacted yesterday.

She said once the investigation on the final case was completed, they would forward it to the Attorney General’s Chambers for further instructions.

ACP Siti Kamsiah attributed the success of the case to its close partnership with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“When the dark web is involved, the speed of which things can be shared is what we are most concerned and worried about.

“With his arrest and conviction, we hope that it can deter such cases from happening,” she said.

According to the Sarawak police, of the videos and images linked to Alladin, fewer than 10 were taken during his sexual activities with his victims.

The rest were accessed, downloaded and shared with an international paedophile community on the dark web, they said, adding that he did not have any local partners.

Alladin’s exploits came to public attention when the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald published a report yesterday.

Detective Sgt Daniel Burnicle, the AFP’s acting senior officer in Kuala Lumpur, told the Australian press that Alladin was “so prolific with so many victims, that’s why he became a high priority”.

He said investigations began following reports that showed his alias as among the top 10 offenders of child exploitation online.

Burnicle said it was a slow, methodical process to sieve through the images.

“It’s very difficult with the dark web to track people,” he said.

Authorities were unable to find traces to the suspect save for his anonymous online profile.

Experts at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation’s identification unit made a breakthrough when they finally identified the suspect in August last year.

The AFP-led operation, which included members of Queensland Police’s Argus taskforce for child victim identification, came across a possible image of the suspect on social media.

The picture was then submitted to the Malaysian police, KL-based AFP officers and the US Homeland Security investigators who raced to identify him.

In another development of the case, an Australian team was able to put together another key piece of the puzzle this year by coming across the same image as the one that had been forwarded to Malaysia months earlier.

This time the image came with identifying information attached.

In July, with the assistance of the Australian investigators, Malaysian authorities tracked down Alladin who was serving his mandatory quarantine at a Covid-19 centre in Sarawak after flying back from Peninsular Malaysia.

The police took him into custody upon his discharge on July 5.

“This (investigation) was all, of course, done during Covid-19 (period and MCO), which made it all the more difficult to get around the country and conduct basic field inquiries,” Burnicle noted.

According to the report, four children aged nine to 14 have been rescued following his arrest.

The Sydney-based newspaper said Aladdin had posted his heinous activities on the dark web, with detailed abuses inflicted on the children aged between two and 16.

Authorities said he had been active since 2007 and was linked to more than 1,000 images and videos of sexually-abused minors.

This is not Malaysia’s first brush with a prolific paedophile.

Richard Huckle was sentenced to life imprisonment in Britain in 2016 for sexually abusing around 200 children between 2006 and 2014, especially in Malaysia.

He had preyed on children in an impoverished part of Kuala Lumpur.

The British paedophile, 33, was murdered in his cell in 2019.

He was found with multiple stab wounds.

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