A monkey torture ring sadistically assaulted and killed baby macaques on camera for customers in the UK and US, an investigation has found.
A year-long BBC investigation found that the vicious ring operated worldwide with hundreds of paying Indonesians to torture and kill baby long-tailed macaques on video.
An alleged major video distributor in the US, known as the ‘The Torture King’, reviewed a poll on one of the groups allowing the use of hammers or tongs for torture, adding: ‘It went from teasing with baby bottles cut off to fingers.’
The torture ring started on YouTube, before moving to private groups on Telegram, the BBC World Service investigation found.
In the secretly filmed video, M. Ajis Rasjana tells an undercover reporter that when he is “very, very angry,” he slams the monkeys against the wall.
In the secretly filmed video, M. Ajis Rasjana talks to the undercover reporter. He says that when he is “really, very angry,” he slams the monkeys against the wall
Rashana also notes that about a week ago he banged a monkey’s head against the wall and blood came out of his mouth, which he said was “so cool” as he laughed
He also notes that about a week ago he banged a monkey’s head against the wall and blood came out of his mouth, which he says was “so cool,” as he laughed.
The police are now looking for the buyers and a number of arrests have already been made.
BBC journalists went undercover in one of Telegram’s main torture groups, where hundreds of people gathered to plan torture ideas and commissioned people in Indonesia and other countries in Asia to put them into practice.
The group wanted to create bespoke videos showing the abuse, torture and sometimes killing of baby long-tailed macaque monkeys.
The BBC located the torturers in Indonesia and the buyers and distributors in the US.
They also managed to gain access to an international law enforcement effort to have them punished for their actions.
At least 20 people around the world are now under investigation, including three women living in the UK who were arrested by police in 2022 and released for investigation, and a man in Oregon, US, who was arrested last week was sued.
Mike McCartney, reportedly a major video distributor in the US, who is referred to as ‘The Torture King’ in the videos, described to the BBC journalists the moment he joined his first Telegram torture group.
McCartney, who according to the BBC was a member of a biker gang and served a prison sentence before joining the monkey torture network, commented: ‘They had set up a poll. Would you like a hammer? Would you like some pliers? Do you want a screwdriver?’
He said the resulting video was “the most grotesque thing I’ve ever seen.”
McCartney came to lead a number of Telegram groups that torture aficionados saw spreading videos.
“It’s no different than drug money,” he said. “Drug money comes from dirty hands, this money comes from bloody hands.”
The BBC also identified two other prime suspects under investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Stacey Storey, an Alabama grandmother in her 40s known as “Sadistic” in the network, among others, and a leader known as stands as ‘Mr Ape’, whose real name was not disclosed by the broadcaster for security reasons.
At the end of the video, the reporter asks Rasjana if he can take a picture of one of the monkeys
‘Mr Ape’ said in an interview with the publication that he caused the deaths of at least four monkeys and tortured several others. He said he had commissioned “extremely brutal” videos.
Department of Homeland Security agents took Storey’s phone and found nearly 100 torture videos, along with evidence that she had funded the creation of some of the most gruesome videos.
Storey was involved with a torture group earlier this month, according to police sources. Storey was contacted by the BBC in Alabama in January and said she had been hacked and would not comment in depth on the allegations.
‘Mr Ape’, Mike McCartney and Stacey Storey are three of the top five targets in the Homeland Security investigation, which is ongoing. They have not been charged, but could face up to seven years in prison if prosecuted and convicted.
The DHS investigation is led by Special Agent Paul Wolpert. He said all law enforcement officials involved were deeply shocked by the alleged crimes.
“I don’t know if anyone would ever be ready for a crime like this,” he said. “Same with the lawyers and the juries, and anyone who reads that this is going on. It’s going to be a shock, I think.’
He added that anyone who participates in distributing or buying monkey torturing videos “should expect a knock at the door someday.” He said, “You can’t get away with it.”
Police in Indonesia have arrested two torture suspects. Asep Yadi Nurul Hikmah, who was charged with animal torture and selling a protected species, was sentenced to three years in prison. M. Ajis Rasjana was sentenced to eight months, the maximum available for torturing animals.