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Joint U.S.-China operation busts child porn ring

BEIJING (Reuters) - A joint U.S.-China police operation has cracked a Chinese-language child pornography ring in New York, Chinese police said, an unusual public example of cooperation between the countries' law enforcement agencies.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested 26-year-old China-born Wang Yong in New York for operating Chinese-language child porn websites, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on Thursday.

In a simultaneous raid, Chinese police detained more than 10 people for maintaining the Sunshine Entertainment Alliance's websites allegedly operated by Wang's associates in China, the ministry said on its website (http://www.mps.gov.cn).

It said the raids were a crackdown on the world's largest Chinese-language online porn operation.

"Breaking open the Sunshine Entertainment Alliance marks the first successful joint operation that the Ministry of Public Security and U.S. law enforcement have conducted targeting cross-border online crimes," the statement said.

It said Wang's dozens of porn websites had more than 10 million members, and 18 of the sites had graphic images of children.

A permanent resident of the United States who was born in China's southern Fujian province, Wang was arrested on June 23 at his home in the Queens area of New York City after a nine-month undercover operation, an FBI statement said.

In the statement dated August 22 posted on the FBI's New York field office website (http://www.fbi.gov/newyork), New York prosecutors "thanked the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for their extensive cooperation and assistance."

China and the U.S. have engaged in high-level dialogues about strengthening law enforcement cooperation and fighting illegal migration, nuclear trafficking, drug-related crimes and intellectual property infringement. All earned mention at the high-profile U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May.

Wang has been charged with three child pornography-related crimes in the United States, for which he faces mandatory minimum sentences of at least 15 years in prison if convicted, the statement on the FBI website said.

Chinese police had attempted to shut down the websites, but discovered the servers were U.S.-based.

U.S. and Chinese police agreed last year to jointly target child porn sites, China's official English-language newspaper China Daily reported on Friday.

Wang was believed to have made "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on the sites and his associates in China were allegedly involved in money laundering, the China Daily said.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Ken Wills and Daniel Magnowski)

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