87,000 Pedophiles Taken Down in Major Child Abuse Network Bust
Germany destroys huge global pedophilia ring
German prosecutors have announced that they have shut down a huge global pedophile network and made worldwide arrests of people involved in organizing and participating in child abuse.
Investigators shut down the Darknet website called Elysium, which "was used for global exchanges of child pornography by its members and to arrange meetings to sexually abuse children," according to a statement by prosecutors in the western city of Frankfurt.
Police raided premises and arrested an "administrator" and seized hard drives and computers being used to run the site and hold members personal data.
Further arrests have been made globally following the initial raid, in a joint effort between international law enforcement agencies.
The network's 87,000 members traded images and video files of "the most serious sexual abuse of children, including babies, and representations of sexual violence against children," the statement continued.
AHT reports: After months of investigation, authorities arrested a 39-year-old man from the Limburg-Weilburg district north of Frankfurt, and are questioning him in custody.
"The suspect is believed to have been largely responsible for the creation of the technical infrastructure of the platform as its administrator," prosecutors said, adding that they had found the server used to store the site's data on the so-called darknet during a search of his flat.
Investigators are currently sifting through the data retrieved in the raids a hope the information could lead to thousands of additional arrests worldwide.
Darknet sites like the one uncovered in the case are invisible to most internet users and can only be accessed by using encryption technology.
They have repeatedly been used by criminals to trade drugs and weapons.
Investigators have identified other administrators and members of the ring and arrested some of them, mostly in Germany and Austria.
Among them are people accused of serious sexual abuse of children, the statement said.