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How GNCCB Dealt with Crime in 2022?

How GNCCB Dealt with Crime in 2022?

An elite garda unit GNCCB, which specializes in investigating a broad spectrum of crimes has identified 9 Irish-based children this year who were the victims of sexual abuse and filmed during incident by their attackers.

According to the Detective Chief Superintendent Barry Walsh, the officer in charge of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB), this year closed a total of 672 cases involving dozens of separate crime categories.

Prosecutions in these cases are likely as the units involved continued to engage with Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) image and video database which allows specialized investigators to share data on cases of child sexual abuse.

Walsh pointed out that 55% of the bureau’s caseload involves the investigation into child sexual abuse material.

The GNCCB have been heavily involved in investigating a number of high-profile child sexual cases as well as hundreds that have not yet been publicized.

One of the most prominent of these was the investigation into former Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) producer and paedophile Kieran Creaven who is serving a 10-year jail sentence after gardaí obtained evidence of him filming himself sexually abusing a young child in the Philippines while other children were in the room.

He admitted to sexually exploiting children online in Dublin, three counts of sexually assaulting and exploiting children in the Philippines, and possession of child abuse imagery in the UK and Ireland. One of the children who was sexually exploited in Ireland was 13.

Walsh explained that the bureau conducted a forensic examination of devices seized from Creaven and came across videos of him abusing children in the Philippines that then required forensic processing.

The GNCCB has also been involved in a number of high profile murder cases in the last number of years, including a key role in investigating the murder of Bobby Ryan, a DJ known as ‘Mr. Moonlight’, in which key evidence was obtained by the bureau from the murderer Patrick Quirke’s computer.

In the year 2022, the GNCCB has been involved in the investigation of a total of 36 murder cases– a huge increase since last year when it was involved in 8 murder investigations.

The senior detective pointed out that this advice still stands and warned that “Parents need to be internet-aware and to know what their children are engaging with online. They advised parents not assume that children have a knowledge of the potential dangers”.

After last year’s massive ransomware attack against the Healthcare Safety Executive, which has led to 113,000 hacking victims being identified, an increase in ransomware cyber attacks targeting small businesses across Ireland has been observed.

Gardaí have previously warned against businesses paying ransom demands to criminals and the chief superintendent pointed out that while figures are not available for Ireland, the FBI has estimated only 15% of cyber crime is reported to law enforcement and this type of organised crime now costs €20 billion globally each year.

It has been noted that the ransomware attacks have been carried out by a Russian based cyber gang.

Until 20th December 2022, the bureau has been involved in the investigation of 58 theft and fraud cases, 18 sexual assault/rape cases, 22 illegal drugs cases and 33 harassment cases. 

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