A sick Internet pedophile ring with over 70,000 members has been uncovered by police, a security official said Wednesday. This is the largest to date.
The European police agency, Europol made a statement that “Operation Rescue” has exposed 670 suspects and that 230 abused children in 30 different countries had been safely rescued. They expect more children to be found.
So far 184 people have been arrested and continuing investigations in some countries were ongoing. A majority of those arrested were for direct involvement of the sexual abuse of children.
The suspects were comprised of police officers, teachers and scout leaders, AP reported. One guy from Spain worked at summer camps for kids allegedly abused over 100 kids for a period of five years.
Cori Bassett, a public affairs officer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an email that there had been five arrests and four convictions in connection with Operation Rescue in the U.S.
“The website was run from a server that was based in the Netherlands and, at its peak, had over 70,000 members worldwide.”
“It attempted to operate as a ‘discussion–only’ forum where people could share their sexual interest in young boys without committing any specific crimes, thus operating ‘below the radar’ of police attention,” Europol said.
Law enforcement authorities from 13 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and the U.K., were involved in the case, Europol said.
“Europol subsequently issued over 4,000 intelligence reports to police authorities in over 30 countries in Europe and elsewhere, which has led to the arrests of suspects and the safeguarding of children,” Europol said.
Peter Davies, of the center, said there would be more arrests as the investigations continue.”Those who have been members of the site can expect a knock on the door in the very near future,” was the statement he made.
The kids involved were between seven and 14 years old and the suspects ranged from ages 19-84.
What the hell is wrong with people? With all of the free porn available these days, what would possess someone to engage in this kind of behavior?
I have an 11 year old son. As a parent this both scares and infuriates me. I hope the catch everyone who participated in this website and throw them in a maximum security facility. I guarantee they will pay for their crimes there, lol.
Fellow parents, monitor your children’s access to the computer. There are a lot of sick predators out there and unfortunately, there always will be.