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Police Shut Ukraine Model Agency In Porn Crackdown

29 July 2004 -- Officials say Ukrainian police shut a modeling agency that they allege photographed underage girls and sold images over the Internet in North America.

Vitaliy Yarema, deputy head of the Interior Ministry's crime-investigation department, said police are questioning about 15 people about the agency, which operated for three years across the country.

Police said the agency had attracted around 1,500 girls aged from eight to 16 to their offices in the capital Kyiv, Kharkiv in the east, and Simferopol in the south.

Yarema alleged that pictures of the girls were then sent to the United States and Canada via Internet channels.

Police also froze the bank accounts of the agency, which reportedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past three years.