News / Europe

European Pedophile Sting Nets 184 Suspects

Director of European police cooperation group Europol Rob Wainwright of Britain elaborates on the details of arrests linked to a global child abuse ring during a TV interview after a press conference in The Hague, March 16, 2011
Director of European police cooperation group Europol Rob Wainwright of Britain elaborates on the details of arrests linked to a global child abuse ring during a TV interview after a press conference in The Hague, March 16, 2011

European law enforcement agents say they have arrested 184 people resulting from an investigation of a global pedophile ring based in the Netherlands.

European police force Europol released a statement Wednesday saying the operation has resulted in the rescue of 230 child victims in 30 countries.

Europol director Rob Wainwright said the ring, generated by an online forum known as "boylover.net," was probably the largest online pedophile network in the world.

Police say the Amsterdam-based forum had as many as 70,000 members. While the forum itself was not illegal, it connected members who then allegedly shared child pornography with each other over private channels, something that is illegal.  

Europol said it cracked the security features of the computer at the center of the network and used it to uncover suspects. The force said it has identified at least 670 suspected offenders and continues to pursue them.

The three-year investigation is known as Operation Rescue and involves law enforcement authorities from nine European nations, as well as Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

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