16 March 2017
A Dutch man has been sentenced to serve more than ten years in prison after being found guilty of blackmailing and grooming more than 20 UK children into sharing indecent images and videos of themselves online.
Aydin Coban, aged 38, from the Tilburg area in the Netherlands, was charged in April 2014 by the Dutch National Police with a number of offences including indecent assault, the production and dissemination of child abuse material, fraud and computer intrusion, following an investigation which started in the UK.
In September 2013, the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command received information from a social networking site about an individual who was coercing children and vulnerable adults to commit sexual acts online via a webcam. Once this person had the image or video, they would threaten to distribute the image to friends and family unless the child or vulnerable adult performed further sexual acts.
As people became trapped in this cycle of abuse his demands made became more extreme.
The NCA used covert assets to gather evidence which helped identify Coban, passing it to colleagues in Holland where he was arrested.
To date, the NCA has identified more than 20 victims of Coban – some as young as eight years old -and a number of statements were provided to the court in the Netherlands as evidence for the prosecution. Investigators also think Coban communicated with many victims around the world.
Matt Sutton from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command said:
"This has been an extremely complex investigation over four years. Specialist officers and child protection advisors have viewed harrowing online material and spoken to both child and adult victims, obtaining evidence to support our colleagues in prosecuting this individual.
“Coban used some of the most advanced techniques available to try to hide himself, but the NCA and its global partners will leave no stone unturned in tracking down criminals who target British children.
“Educating children and young people, as well as parents and teachers on how to prevent offences being committed in the first place has never been more important”.
If you, or someone you know, has been approached by someone online which has made you feel uncomfortable, you can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or make a report to specialist officers at CEOP. More information and support can also be found via CEOP's Thinkuknow website or Parentinfo.