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Pilots caught with child porn

2008feb15aussie_1203050181
2008feb15aussie_1203050181
Written by editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (eTN) – Three Asian airline pilots have landed themselves and their careers in jeopardy after being convicted in an Australian court of being in possession of “objectionable or abhorrent” pornography.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (eTN) – Three Asian airline pilots have landed themselves and their careers in jeopardy after being convicted in an Australian court of being in possession of “objectionable or abhorrent” pornography.

In a week of “bumpy landings” for its employers, a pilot of national carrier Malaysia Airlines and two with Singapore Airlines were arrested at Adelaide International Airport for being in possession of pornographic video clips.

According to news reports, Captain Ng Kok Yauw of Singapore Airlines was fined approximately US$10,000 on February 9. He was arrested by customs officers at Adelaide International Airport for being in possession of seven video files containing “objectionable material depicting abhorrent sexual acts,” some depicting scenes of rape, sexual violence and children engaged in sexual activity in his laptop.

Earlier in the week, co-pilot Ahmad Said of Malaysian Airlines was let off leniently when the same court fined him US$4,500 after he was arrested also at Adelaide International Airport on February 7. Customs officers found clips of child pornography in his laptop, including one featuring a young girl engaged in sexual acts with an older man.

Describing the materials as “repugnant and abhorrent,” sentencing magistrate Simon Smart said: “Any decent-minded person would be so affected by it. These are not victimless crimes. For every video that depicts such a scene, there is a victim.”

Another Singaporean pilot is due in court to face similar charges on February 25.

“They got off easy,” commented an Australian court official. “The offense carries a fine of US$24,800 and they could have been sent to prison for up to 10 years, or both.”

Richard Janeczko, an Australian customs investigations manager said, Australian laws prohibit violent and abhorrent pornography which involves minors, rape, violent sex and bestiality. “We could not have prosecuted anyone unless the pornographic content was deemed abhorrent and of extreme perversion,” he said.

Denying accusations airline crews are being targeted, he added, “There has been an increase in detection and prosecution of pornographic materials brought in by smugglers using laptops, portable hard drives and cell phones.”

Employers of all the pilots are conducting their own investigations into the convictions.

Coming from countries whose laws carry heavy penalties for similar offenses, the pilots are facing the prospect of not only losing their jobs, but facing further investigations when they return home. Malaysian police have confirmed they will launch an investigation into the matter.

An Australian customs spokeswoman said, while it is not an offence to bring pornographic materials into Australia, it is a crime to bring “objectionable and abhorrent” materials, which is described as materials which “offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.”

It is not clear at this time if Australian authorities were randomly checking for child pornography or if they were acting on a tip.

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