KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 2 – The ‘WeChat’ application was among the most frequently used by paedophiles who were on prowl for their victims last year, as compared to other social media applications. Bukit Aman CID Sexual, Women and Children Investigation Division (D11) principal assistant director ACP Ong Chin Lan said in 138 out of 184 cases reported last year, the children had made an acquaintance of the paedophiles via the WeChat application.
“This is followed by Facebook (35 cases), WhatsApp (six) and the rest through BeeTalk. The WeChat application made it easy for underaged children to find contacts without any censorship and it does not require someone else to ‘invite’ them to join,” she told a press conference at Bukit Aman police headquarters here yesterday.
“When they are using this application without adult supervision, they will be easily exploited in a negative way by paedophiles. Through WeChat, the paedophiles can search for people nearby, filter the gender and later send messages to as many children as (they) want,” she said.
Ong said when children at their infancy stage of using social media, they would be exposed to strangers like paedophiles, who would later ‘charm’ the children with sweet talks in order to get their trusts. She said, subsequently, after getting to know each other, the victim would usually be taken for outing before they (the victims) were raped.
She said the paedophiles targeted at children (or teenagers) between 12 and 15 years old as their victims because at this age, they (the victims) had just gained their freedoms from their parents. According to Ong, there are three categories of paedophiles, namely interests towards boys, girls and both.
“I advise the parents or guardians of the underaged children to monitor the behaviour of their children when surfing the internet so that they will not easily get acquainted with strangers in the social media. They (underaged children) should be given attention and religion education to prevent them from becoming a prey to the paedophiles,” she added.
Meanwhile the police is also expected to collaborate with Facebook to spread information about missing children in the country among its users. Ong said it was part of the measures to locate the missing children. She said this social networking site will issue alert on their newsfeed to inform its users about a missing child.
“This matter has been approved by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and will be launch in September. With this collaboration, Facebook becomes our 36th members for the National Urgent Response Alert (NUR Alert) system,” she said. — Bernama