Seven people were arrested in dawn raids in the UK today as part of the world’s largest ever co-ordinated police crackdown on pedophiles, the National Crime Squad (NCS) said.
Police in 19 countries carried out 130 arrest and search warrants in an “unprecedented” operation which targeted Internet users who download and distribute child pornography.
The arrests are the culmination of a 10-month investigation, code-named Landmark, in which police sifted through data from about 1,500 Internet newsgroups.
More arrests in the UK may follow, an NCS spokeswoman said… Ten warrants were executed in nine police force areas in England and Scotland…
They recovered data showing the activity of 1,500 Internet newsgroups over a two week period.
The data revealed that around 10,000 Internet users had accessed more than 30 websites carrying paedophilia.
The huge number meant that for operational reasons the number of suspects was narrowed down to just over 400 people suspected of distributing pedophile images…
The 19 countries where warrants were executed today were: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the United States…
He said: “Almost all of the arrests made today arise from child pornography found in on-line newsgroups.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that some UK Internet Service Providers are still offering easy access to this material.
“We believe that immediate action should be taken to stop this.
“If this situation continues then the companies involved should face criminal investigation.”