The 2004 Ukrainian child pornography raids occurred in July 2004, when police in Ukraine raided a softcore child pornography ring operating in the cities of Kiev, Kharkiv and Simferopol. The ring had operated since 2001, and used a modeling agency as a front. Approximately 1,500 girls aged from eight to sixteen were said to have been to the agency. Erotic materials produced by the agency were distributed over the Internet to various countries.
The alleged agency, known as Ukrainian Angels Studio, streamed on the web was called LS Models and had a number of different domains such as LS Island, LS Magazine, Lolitas on Holiday, LS Dreams and a series of sites under the LS Land moniker.
The Crime Investigation Department of the Ministry for the Interior conducted the raids. The deputy head of the department, Vitaly Yarema, said that the bank accounts of the agency, containing hundreds of thousands of dollars, had been frozen. Ukrainian Angels Studios actually began work much earlier, around 1999 or 2000. They split in 2001 into two separate outlets, LS and BD. BD had its own series of photos and videos which lasted until 2004. Many of the models went to other studios, none lasting more than a year. The last known groups were Karina World and Pink-Teens. Both closed in 2007. They featured former LS Models, now of legal age (over 18).
The raids were conducted after a joint investigation between Ukrainian police and Interpol. In 2005, the United States Department of State announced that there was further cooperation between Ukrainian police and other law enforcement agencies internationally.
The investigation following the raids was completed by 6 April 2005.
Two leaders of the agency were taken into custody but have since been released. Most of the parents of the girls refused to press charges
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- "2005 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Ukraine". United States Department of State. 2005. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61682.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-07.
- "Criminal group involves 1,500 under-age Ukrainian girls in porn business with parents' knowledge". Pravda Online. 6 April 2005. http://english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/96/383/15246_girls.html.
- "Police Shut Ukraine Model Agency in Porn Crackdown". reuters.com (Reuters). 2004-07-28. Archived from the original on 2004-08-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20040810103032/http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=5801731.
- "A Ukrainian child porn ring exposed". crime-research.org (Computer Crime Research Center). 2004-07-29. http://www.crime-research.org/news/29.07.2004/527/.
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