awful things

70,000-Member International Pedophile Ring Busted

The world’s largest (we certainly hope) pedophile ring was busted by Europol this week, which snared some 70,000 members in what they’re calling “Operation Rescue.” Six hundred and seventy suspects have been identified, as well as 230 abused children in 30 countries — the latter of whom have been taken to safety. More children are expected to be found and rescued. So far only 184 people have been arrested, including teachers, police officers, and even scout leaders, but investigations are continuing in some countries. Here in the United States there have already been five arrests and four convictions, and more leads are being followed.

Basically, “Operation Rescue” involved police infiltrating a website based in the Netherlands that was devoted to a “discussion-only” forum where people could “share their sexual interest in young boys without committing any specific offenses.” But it really served as a meet-up where members could later exchange illegal images or details of past assaults.

The remaining tens of thousands of registered members of the site aren’t off the hook, though. “Those who have been members of the site can expect a knock on the door in the very near future,” said Peter Davies of Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center.

Massive online pedophile ring busted by cops [MSNBC]

70,000-Member International Pedophile Ring Busted