The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) concluded its meetings on Thursday, under the patronage of the UAE as the current chair.

Towards the end of the meeting, representatives of member countries expressed their thanks and appreciation for the UAE Ministry of Interior for extending such a warm welcome and hospitality, which contributed to the success of the meeting of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) in the UAE.

Participants tackled a number of papers that focused on enhancing cooperation and partnerships to combat cyber-crimes, and agreed to hold the next meeting in Columbia.

They also commended the meeting, which included highly important topics and purposeful discussions that reflected participants’ commitment to find the appropriate solutions for the misuse of the internet and provide protection for children. They stressed the importance of using technology to combat crimes in general and online child exploitation crimes in particular.

Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and current Chairman of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), said that holding the meetings in Abu Dhabi is testament of the UAE’s leading position and its commitment to preserve the safety and security of children around the world, and a center of excellence in the field of child protection.

Major General Al Nuaimi reiterated the UAE’s commitment to endeavor diligently to achieve the goals and aspirations of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) to protect children against online sexual exploitation, to make the internet a safer place and to identify, locate and help children at risk and hold perpetrators accountable.

Major General Al Nuaimi also stressed the commitment to achieve the Virtual Global Taskforce’s slogan to establish practical and effective procedures that give top priority to children. He also noted that the UAE is committed to cross border monitoring the cyberspace to protect children and ensure their safety online.

US Praise
For his part, MiKe Prado, Former VGT Chair, and USA representative on the international Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) praised the selection of the UAE to chair the international alliance for the next three years.

“Choosing the UAE to chair the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) reflects the international standing of this alliance, and testament of the UAE’s efficiency and worthiness to handle such responsibility,” he continued. Moreover, he explained that the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Interior, has demonstrated that it is a full partner in the fight against online child exploitation. He also assured that the USA is looking forward to cooperating fully with the UAE in this area.

Atlas Operation
Brigadier Hamad Ajlan Al Amimi, Director General of the Federal Criminal Police at the Ministry of Interior and head of the Atlas team in charge of field operations in the UAE to combat online child exploitation, praised the VGT’s international cooperation in the Atlas Operation. He said that the operation, which started on June 29 and concluded on October 30, yielded delicate information about online child abuse, exchange of information on the international level, the arrest of perpetrators in a number of countries included in this operation, and sending them to trial.

Brigadier Al Amimi explained that the operation was implemented with the participation of the UAE, as per the cooperation between member countries in the VGT and within the framework of international field operations. He also noted that the operation embodies the true efforts for child protection and was carried out according to an elaborate international plan, and joint local action on the federal level between police leaderships.
In conclusion, Brigadier Al Amimi said: “The operation did not reveal any child victims within the UAE. However, it uncovered the exchange of disturbing offensive video content that was seized prior to distribution.” He also praised the cooperation of the different entities participating in the operation, which led to the arrest of the criminals operating internationally.

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