Irish man called world’s ‘largest facilitator of child porn’ remanded

FBI request extradition to US of suspect allegedly involved in distribution of abuse images online

 Eric Eoin Marques (28) arrives at the Four Courts for a High Court extradition hearing today.  Photograph:  Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie

Eric Eoin Marques (28) arrives at the Four Courts for a High Court extradition hearing today. Photograph: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie

Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 00:57

A 28-year-old Irishman described by an FBI special agent as “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet,” has been further remanded in custody by the High Court  yesterday.

The US authorities are seeking the extradition of Eric Eoin Marques who is alleged to be involved in the distribution of online child pornography.

Following a brief appearance before Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the High Court  yesterday morning, Mr Marques was remanded in custody until next Thursday.

The court previously heard Mr Marques, who has Irish and US citizenship, was arrested on a provisional warrant that records charges of distributing and promoting child pornography on the internet.

Yesterday, counsel for the Attorney General Ronan Kennedy asked the court to further remand Mr Marques in custody until the full request for his extradition was received from the United States.

If the full request was not received within a certain timeframe, then Mr Marques would be released, counsel said.

Last week, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan refused to grant Mr Marques, with an address at Mountjoy Square in Dublin’s north inner city, bail until the extradition request has been determined.

The US authorities are seeking his extradition on four charges. The court heard that if convicted he faces possible sentences of up to 30 years in prison. The charges relate to images on a large number of websites described as being extremely violent, graphic and depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children.

The charges were brought against Mr Marques following a year long investigation involving both the FBI and the Garda.

Mr Marques was arrested in Dublin last Thursday on foot of a provisional extradition warrant issued by a US court on July 29th.

Investigating gardai and the FBI both objected to bail being granted on the grounds including Mr Marques represented a flight risk. The court heard evidence that large sums of money had passed through his bank accounts, including large payments sent to accounts in Romania.

The court also heard that a search of Mr Marques’s computer revealed he had made inquires about how to get a visa and entry into Russia. He had no previous convictions nor had he ever come to the attention of the authorities before.

At a hearing last week, Mr Marques told the court he was born in the US but has lived in Ireland since he was five years of age. He said his father is Brazilian and his mother is Irish.

He said he had visited Romania a few times, and had friends and an ex girlfriend there whom he was helping out financially. He said he was last in Romania a few weeks ago when he withdrew €6,000 from his credit card to help a friend start a business.

He also told the court several weeks ago he searched online about Russian visas out of curiosity due to the issues surrounding former US NSA employee Edward Snowden.