PETALING JAYA: It was the soft approach that helped one of the most prolific paedophiles on the dark web to snare unsuspecting underage boys.
Starting from 2001, convicted paedophile Alladin Lanim started using the dark side of the Internet to consume such content.
Not satisfied with just viewing child pornography, he started getting more involved in the dark web, where he started online discussions with other monsters on ways to groom and prey on children.
Over time, he found victims of his own when he was still based in Kuala Lumpur where he was working odd jobs, said Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division (D11) assistant director Asst Comm Siti Kamsiah Hassan (pic).
“His victims were found at random then. A lot were children who were cutting school and playing games at cybercafes.
“He would entice children with game tokens for their videogames and other such things before taking them behind the shops, where he would sexually abuse the boys who were usually between six and 12 years old,” she said when contacted by The Star yesterday.
Investigations showed that he then moved back to Sarawak after 2015 and laid low for a few years.
It is also known that he then went into the plantation industry.
He used the same modus operandi in ensnaring children: a soft approach via videogames.
Victims were generally young boys near where he stayed.
“There were some periods of time where he didn’t do anything but then he would start again,” said ACP Siti Kamsiah.
In their pursuit of Alladin, local police worked the case with their Australian counterparts after his exploits on the dark web caught the attention of the Australian police, but ACP Siti Kamsiah said the man was already on the local police radar before 2019.
At first, investigations progressed slowly.
“The photos shared with us then did not show faces, they were mainly just on parts of the victims’ bodies, so it was difficult to do any tracing.
“There was one lead that we followed, which was a tom yam store seen in the background of one of the photos.
“But since we didn’t know when those photos were shot, the store wasn’t at the site anymore by the time we found the location,” ACP Siti Kamsiah revealed.
She said that in an interrogation after the police apprehended him, Alladin told them that he was unsure how many victims he had groomed and sexually assaulted.
“That was why we focused on the Sarawak cases first, because we had the victims coming forward assisting our investigations,” she said, adding that the police believed more victims have yet to be found.
ACP Siti Kamsiah clarified that this was a Malaysian case with Malaysian victims and that his arrest was the result of a close working relationship with the Australian police, which she said provided valuable help with their technology expertise.
Other local agencies such as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission also assisted the police, she added.
Even with the sexual predator behind bars, the police are not resting on their laurels.
One more investigation is still linked to him, and ACP Siti Kamsiah said that it would just be a matter of time until they handed over the investigation paper to the deputy public prosecutor.
“We urge past victims to contact us,” she added.
In July, with the assistance of 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 from the quarantine centre on July 5.
Alladin, now 40 years old, was sentenced to a total of 18 and a half years’ jail and 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 previously.
The offences were committed at a plantation quarters and a porch in small-town Lundu between 2018 and April this year.