A huge police operation has led to arrests worldwide and the dismantling of what is being described as possibly the biggest online paedophile ring ever.
Led from the UK, the probe saw officers infiltrate an internet forum operated from a server based in the Netherlands. The investigation, lasting three years, has highlighted the dangers of internet child abuse.
“Most of our advice to children and young people is to think carefully about how they go on the internet because they don’t know who they are speaking to,” said Peter Davies, the UK’s police chief, who leads the country’s online child protection agency.
“The truth of it is, that if you are an offender, if you are pursuing the internet to pursue your interest in child sexual abuse, then you also don’t know who you are speaking to.”
The global forum – boylover.net – had up to 70,000 members. Some 670 suspects have been identified worldwide, nearly 200 of whom have been arrested.