June 2023

Psychiatrist helped run dark web site dedicated to sexual abuse and rape of children

A psychiatrist from London who helped run a dark web site dedicated to the sexual abuse and rape of children has been jailed.

National Crime Agency officers identified Dr Kabir Garg, 33, as one of the moderators of a site called ‘The Annex’, which had around 90,000 paedophile members worldwide and saw hundreds of links to child abuse material shared every day.

Members accessed The Annex using Tor, a dark web browser which is estimated to have 1.4 million global users.

Forty percent of the total searches facilitated by Tor are for child sexual abuse material.

Officers arrested Garg at his flat in Lewisham in November 2022 as part of a coordinated operation with international partners, at a time when the site was open on his laptop with Garg logged into his moderator account.

His laptop and other devices were seized for analysis.

The Annex, which is no longer active, was run like a company and had a team of around 30 administrators, who worked in shifts around the clock to ensure the smooth running of the site.

Investigations showed that Garg was initially a member, but dedicated time and effort to becoming sufficiently trusted to be invited to be a moderator.

He was responsible for enforcing the rules of the site and removing members who did not comply.

He also provided advice on how to evade law enforcement, shared and encouraged other users to share links to child abuse material.

NCA officers recovered chat logs from his devices which showed posts, messages and files sent by Garg’s account.

These clearly demonstrated his sexual interest in children and his role as a moderator.

Over 7,000 images and videos of child abuse were also recovered, along with messages which showed him applying for, and being promoted to, a site moderator rank with greater responsibility and access.

Garg also had a number of articles and journals on his laptop, which he had acquired as part of his job as a psychiatrist, that indicated he was well aware of the psychological impact of sexual abuse on children.

These had titles such as ‘Puberty and Adolescent Sexuality’, ‘A Study on Child Abuse India’, and ‘Effects and Aftermath of Rape’.

He pleaded guilty in January this year to eight charges, including facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, three counts each of making and distributing indecent images of children, and possession of prohibited images.

He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to six years in prison.

Garg will also be subject to a Serious Harm Prevention Order and is on the Sex Offenders Register for life..