Wednesday 28 June 2017

Suspects held in EU-wide child porn crackdown

Tom Brady Security Editor

GARDAI have seized documentation on child pornography and a number of computers during searches as part of a Europe-wide crackdown on online sex abuse file-sharing networks.

Operation Icarus resulted in the arrest of 112 suspects in 22 countries, while another 269 suspects were identified.

Officers from the gardai's domestic violence and sexual assault unit carried out three searches and seized PCs, laptops, hard disks, and material including a manual on how to groom a child for sex.

Gardai arrested one man for questioning in Co Wexford and also identified a number of suspects in other parts of the country.

A senior officer told the Irish Independent last night that their inquiries were continuing and could result in further arrests.

Icarus was co-ordinated by Europol, which said last night that the operation targeted those sharing the most extreme forms of video material, which included babies and young children being sexually abused and raped.

Director Rob Wainwright said that the operation had uncovered previously unknown networks of child sex offenders, operating on different internet channels.

He said that Icarus showed how the internet was helping offenders to develop better techniques for sharing images on a global basis and for protecting their identities.

He described Icarus as the latest success in over 10 years of Europol supporting law enforcement agencies in Europe in their fight against child sex abuse online.

Efforts

"The problems involved are becoming harder to police and call for sustained efforts by policymakers and law enforcement agencies to ensure that society's response remains strong and agile in this area," Mr Wainwright added.

He said special focus was being placed on identifying the producers of the material, the suspects and their victims.

Among those arrested for downloading illegal material was a man suspected of grooming a young child.

He was detained before he was in a position to meet the child face to face.

Irish Independent

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