KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — Operating under the radar for some 14 years, one of the world’s most wanted paedophiles who operated out of Lundu, Sarawak was finally apprehended and jailed for 18 years for his crimes, thanks to joint efforts undertaken between Australian and Malaysian authorities.
According to a report by Sydney-based Sydney Morning Herald, it said the capture of 40-year-old Alladin Lanim — one of the world’s most wanted paedophile — initially stemmed from a multi-national internal police report in 2019 which had listed his online alias as one of the top 10 offenders in the world in exploitation of children on the internet.
Alladin had posted about his exploits on the dark web which detailed abuses inflictied on children between the ages of two and 16, which authorities said he has been doing since 2007 and linked to more than 1,000 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors.
“He was so prolific with so many victims, that’s why he became a high priority,” Detective Sergeant Daniel Burnicle, the AFP’s acting senior officer in Kuala Lumpur was quoted as saying.
Alladin’s capture, made possible through the efforts of Australian authorities comprising specialist investigators from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police and the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), saw a breakthrough in August 2020.
Prior to August 2020, authorities had nothing more on the individual they were pursuing other than his anonymous online profile.
On the breakthrough, experts at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation’s victim identification unit initially came across a social media image of the man they suspected they were looking for.
The image was then sent to investigators from the Royal Malaysia Police, United States Homeland Security and AFP officers based in KL to discern the man’s name.
“They’re going through images trying to work out where that location may be so they can follow up. It’s all very difficult with the dark web to track people.
“It’s just a slow, methodical burn,” Burnicle said.
A further breakthrough was then achieved at AUSTRAC this year after a team was able to come across the same image as the one that had been forwarded to Malaysia from Australia months earlier, this time with identifying information attached.
In July, Australian investigators managed to assist Malaysian authorities in tracking Alladin to a state Covid-19 quarantine centre where he was serving a mandatory period in isolation after arriving back in Sarawak following a trip to peninsula Malaysia.
Upon his discharge from the centre on July 5, Alladin was brought into custody and subsequently pleaded guilty to 18 charges of sexual crimes in August after investigators provided a package of material to prosecutors that identified some 34 victims he had abused.
For his heinous crimes, Alladin was sentenced to a total of 18 years and six months in prison and 15 strokes of the cane.
“This (investigation) was all, of course, done during Covid, which made it all more difficult in terms of being able to get around the country and just conduct those basic field inquiries that you would do.
“We hope this case will be like a learning experience that we use over here and say ‘this is what’s happened, how can we do it better for next time?’ You need a police force to be able to counter this type of offending,” Burnicle added.
Meanwhile, state Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post that she was grateful to authorities for tracking down, prosecuting and punishing Alladin for the hideous crime that he has committed.