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Child porn sting

September 30, 2009

A simultaneous raid carried out in seven countries has led to the arrest of 22 people connected with an international child pornography ring - including nine suspected leaders in Germany.

https://p.dw.com/p/Jv2n
A computer generated picture
German police confiscated nearly 200 computersImage: AP Graphics

German police have announced the successful outcome of an operation aimed at breaking up an international child pornography network. After a raid of 121 homes and workplaces of purported members of the porn network's German-language branch, German police say they arrested nine people suspected of being leaders of the organization.

In other raids conducted simultaneously, authorities in Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, Canada and the United States apprehended further suspects associated with the network. Austrian police confirmed a total of 22 arrests worldwide.

Internet stop sign blocking access to child porn sites.
This sign is meant to appear on the screen after an attempt to access online child porn.Image: picture-alliance/ dpa

The arrests come after months of investigation led by German and Austrian authorities into the network. Austrian authorities charged just under 200 men last March in a similar investigation.

Online forum for sexual abuse

According to police, members of the network used online forums to discuss their experiences of abusing children. Some of the members abused their own children or the children of friends or partners, which was often shared online in films or photos.

Earlier this year, Germany passed laws making it tougher to access child pornography online and easier to prosecute those who do.

Around 800 police officers took part in the raids in Germany. They confiscated over 200 computers.

mz/Reuters/AFP
Editor: Michael Lawton