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HomeNewsPolice arrest 19 men in child abuse ring – DW – 08/08/2023

Police arrest 19 men in child abuse ring – DW – 08/08/2023

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Australian police arrested 19 men allegedly involved in a “sophisticated” child abuse ring, saving 13 children from further harm, the Australian Federal Police Commander said Tuesday.

The men were accused of distributing encrypted child abuse images and videos on the dark web, as well as chatting on message platforms.

What do we know about the suspects?

Most of the arrested men are believed to have been employed in jobs which required advanced knowledge of internet networks.

Some of the suspects are accused of producing their own child abuse material.

“The longer people like this avoid detection, the longer the cycle of abuse continues. This was a sophisticated network,” Helen Schneider, the commander of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), said in a press conference.

How was the ring discovered?

The arrests are the result of a coordinated effort with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The probe began in Australia after the 2021 murder in Florida of two FBI agents who were investigating child abuse in the US.

The FBI tipped off Australian police regarding network members in the country who were allegedly sharing child abuse material on the dark web, Schneider said.

Of the 13 children, some were directly abused, while others were moved from harm’s way as a child safety precaution, the AFP said.

“Viewing, distributing or producing child abuse material is a horrific crime, and the lengths that these alleged offenders went to in order to avoid detection makes them especially dangerous,” Schneider said.

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rmt/jsi (dpa, Reuters)

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