Columnist Hasan Suroor, a British journalist of Indian origin, has been arrested following a video sting operation by an anti-paedophile group.
“A 65-year-old man has been charged with meeting a child following sexual grooming and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, Wednesday 12 November. Hasan Surour, of Sloane Avenue, Kensington and Chelsea, was arrested by British Transport Police officers at Deptford Bridge DLR station on Monday, 9 November,” a spokesman for British Transport Police told HuffPost India.
He was arrested following a sting operation by an anti-paedophile vigilante group, Unknown TV.
In the video, posted online yesterday, 65-year-old Suroor is seen as admitting to have travelled from Chelsea to Deptford Bridge DLR to meet a 14-year-old girl. While Suroor says he would not have had sex with her, the vigilante group confronts him with evidence that he had conversations indicating clear plans for a sexual encounter.
To be clear, Suroor did not have sex with a minor. He had sexual conversations with someone who he thought was a minor and was purportedly travelling to meet that person.
Groups such as Unknown TV have been in operation in the US and UK. Members pose as minors on dating and social networking sites and watch for adult men who solicit sex with minors. When men travel for such encounters, they are confronted by members posing as police and the exchange is taped and subsequently posted online.
Their methods have been controversial, with police asking such groups to refrain from such activities. Such stings don't necessarily end in a conviction or even criminal charges, although they have. At least one person has taken his life following such a sting.
Suroor, a well-known reporter and commentator, has written for The Hindu, The Guardian, The Indian Express and Firstpost, among others.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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