Gardaí seize thousands of child abuse images in searches around the country

Child sex dolls were found on one property

Gardaí seize thousands of child abuse images in searches around the country

File photo | Image: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Archive/PA Images

Gardaí investigating the possession and distribution of child abuse material have seized phones and laptops at 31 properties around the country.

Thousands of images are believed to have been seized in 15 counties by the Garda Online Child Exploitation Unit.

The searches were carried out as part of the second phase of Operation Ketch.

No arrests have been made but Gardaí are speaking with a number of people.

Child sex dolls were also found in one search.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said it’s the first time this has happened.

“It is in one of the premises searched today and it is an issue that we have discussed in recent times with customs officials,” he said.

“Because we are aware that they have been imported into the State.

“It is an added concern to what is already an area that gives rise to considerable concern to say the least.”