A Bulgarian Man was Detained during a large-scale Interpol Operation against Child PornographyCrime | August 7, 2023, Monday // 10:30| views
Interpol has ended a two-year global operation to catch criminals running networks of websites with child sexual abuse material designed to generate advertising profits.
During the operation in Bulgaria, a 34-year-old man was detained, and the online forum managed by him, which facilitated access to thousands of files depicting severe sexual abuse of children, was closed, the Ministry of the Interior announced.
The operation, named "Narsil", began in December 2021 and lasted until July 2023.
"Operation Narsil sends a strong message to criminals making money from such websites that Interpol and police forces in 195 member countries know where they are, what they are doing and how to find them," said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
According to him, every time a person clicks on these images, they are effectively entering a crime scene.
"As a result of identifying and removing these websites, online child abuse material is reduced and most importantly, re-victimization of the abused is reduced," Stock said.
In one case, a brother and sister - both in their early thirties - were arrested in Argentina. 14 electronic devices, cash and credit cards were seized from their home. The two are believed to have created, maintained and benefited financially for more than a decade from websites containing child sexual abuse material and associated advertising campaigns.
"Given the technological complexity of this case and the length of time the criminal activity went undetected, these arrests highlight the importance of police cooperation," said Argentina's Federal Police Chief Juan Carlos Hernandez, who is also the delegate for North and South America on the Executive Committee of Interpol.
A 34-year-old Bulgarian who ran an online forum since 2020 has been identified and detained in Bulgaria. Police have shut down the forum, which is believed to have facilitated access to thousands of files depicting severe child sexual abuse. After the arrest, efforts to identify the people who used the forum continue.
As part of the Russian leg of Operation Narsil, police authorities have arrested two 24-year-olds for producing and online distribution of material depicting the sexual abuse of minors. During the search, computer equipment containing specialized software for creating and administering websites and removable hard drives containing child sexual abuse material were seized.
With the support of the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations Unit, Thai police have arrested a 45-year-old Thai national for possession and online distribution of child sexual abuse material. A search of his home turned up large amounts of child sexual abuse material and records of financial transactions related to the online distribution of the images of abuse.
Narsil (a long sword that deals with all evil) was one of Interpol's first operations focused on identifying, locating and apprehending people receiving advertising revenue from website visitors interested in viewing child sexual abuse content.
For more than 13 years, Interpol has monitored websites distributing images of child sexual abuse and, in cooperation with law enforcement partners around the world, has seized over 20,000 domains.
Operation Narsil includes investigations initiated by law enforcement authorities in Austria, Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, Poland, Romania, Russia, USA, Singapore, Thailand, France, Netherlands, Switzerland.
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