KUALA LUMPUR: The ‘WeChat’ application was among the most frequently used platform by paedophiles last year, as compared to other social media applications.
Bukit Aman’s 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 the acquaintance of the paedophiles via the WeChat application.
“This is followed by Facebook (35 cases), WhatsApp (six) and the rest through BeeTalk,” she told a press conference.
She said 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.
“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.
ACP Ong said children at their infancy stage of using social media would be exposed to strangers like paedophiles, who would later ‘charm’ them with sweet talk in order to get their trust.
“Subsequently, after getting to know each other, the victim would usually be taken for outing before they were raped.
“The paedophiles targeted children (or teenagers) between 12 and 15 years old because at this age, they (the victims) had just gained the freedom from their parents,” she said.
According to ACP Ong, there are three categories of paedophiles, namely interests towards boys, girls and both.
“I advise parents or guardians of underaged children to monitor their behaviour 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. – Bernam