6 Feb 2013

Police say more arrests likely over paedophile ring

7:26 am on 6 February 2013

Police believe more arrests will be made over an international paedophile ring involving four New Zealand boys.

On Tuesday, police revealed that three New Zealanders were arrested after they filmed themselves committing sexual acts on children aged between 18 months and 13 years old.

Aaron Ellmers on Tuesday admitted drugging a child with a sleeping pill so he could rape him, paying for sexual acts and offering money to violate a toddler.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to 60 charges relating to the abuse of children.

Another man, whose name is suppressed, has admitted similar charges, while a third man will appear in court next week.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, the head of the Online Child Exploitation Team, says the images and recordings have made their way overseas.

"The investigation is certainly ongoing and I'm certainly not going to rule out the fact that more individuals will be charged both in New Zealand and overseas.

"The countries that have received referrals from us include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are actively investigating the leads that we have sent them."

The two New-Zealanders that have admitted the charges will be sentenced in April and May this year.

Meanwhile, child protection group ECPAT Child Alert says photos of the abused New Zealand children may never be deleted from the internet as it is difficult to track them down once images go global.