A routine visit to a registered sex offender in Northamptonshire has led to the uncovering of a global child abuse ring.An organised crime group centred in the Philippines arranged for children to be sexually abused live on webcam in exchange for payment.Some of the facilitators were reportedly members of the children’s own families.

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All parties were involved in efforts to identify the offenders and victims in the Philippines.

In one chat log, a convicted abuser, who uses a wheelchair, suggested to another UK suspect also jailed as a resulted of Operation Endeavour that he could act as his carer so they could travel to the Philippines together and abuse children directly without attracting suspicion.

In addition to Operation Endeavour, three other separate investigations are currently ongoing into the live streaming of child sexual abuse, which have already identified 733 suspects: 139 of these in the UK and 594 overseas.

Operation Endeavour, which began in 2012, resulted 29 arrests in 12 countries worldwide.

A total of 15 children in the Philippines aged between six and 15 have been identified and safeguarded from sexual abuse, say the authorities.

Eleven suspects from the south-east Asian countries have been arrested.

Within the UK there have been 17 arrests which resulted in five convictions to date, with nine investigations still ongoing.

The UK customer base had paid over £5,351 to the crime group, which investigators reckon raked in more than £37,000 through their twisted business.

The investigation began after Northamptonshire Police carried out a routine visit at the home of a registered sex offender, discovering a number of indecent videos on computers.

Computer forensics and a preliminary police investigation led to the identification of additional suspects and numerous children in the Philippines who were believed to have been sexually exploited.

NCA worked with its partners in Australia and the US before presenting a dossier on the joint investigation to the Philippine National Police.