An enormous international child pornography ring was busted earlier this week by European authorities. The international police initiative identified nearly 670 suspects and about 230 child pornography victims in thirty countries. The international pedophile ring itself is thought to be the world’s largest with more 70,000 members. Reports have indicated that 184 suspects have been arrested so far including teachers, police officers, and scout leaders. Most of the detained individuals have been accused of directly abusing children. The police action was spearheaded by a European police agency called Europol as part of its Operation Rescue. A spokesman for Europol has commented that the pornography ring is probably the largest of its kind in the world.
A spokesperson for the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released a statement indicating that there have been five arrests and four convictions within the U.S. as a result of the investigation and bust. Specific arrests have been made in both Georgia and Connecticut. The investigation included authorities from thirteen countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. The site operated from a server based out of the Netherlands and reportedly at one time had up to 70,000 members. The site administrator aided authorities in breaking encryption measures following his arrest. Police identified members of the site that posed the greatest risk to children leading to the aforementioned arrests. Investigators also posed as children online as part of the investigation. The investigation is expected to yield more arrests.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of child pornography, you might be entitled to civil recovery. To speak with an attorney about child pornography victims’ rights, please click here.