Germany busts darknet pedophile network
The German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) said on Friday that it had taken down three major darknet forums that distributed child pornography. The sites had more than a million registered users combined, making them a major hub for highly illicit content.
So far, four suspects have been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation. Three of the suspects were detained across Germany, while the fourth was apprehended in Brazil.
One of the suspects, a 21-year-old man from the eastern German state of Saxony, is believed to be the main administrator of the now-defunct forums – ‘BoyVids 6.0’, ‘Forbidden Love’ and ‘Child Porn Market’. The sites effectively served as marketplaces for the exchange of illegal content, with ‘BoyVids 6.0’ having some 410,000 registered users at the time of its closure and the ‘Forbidden Love’ boasting nearly 850,000.
The last site was only launched back in October and did not manage to attract a sizable audience before the raid. Still, it was already offering some 120 highly graphic videos, the police said.
The bust has been hailed by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as “an important strike against the spread of horrific images of sexualized violence against children.”
The strike against the sites comes as a part of Berlin’s efforts to clamp down on the spread of forbidden content, which depicts sexualized abuse of children. Last year, German police shut down the ‘Boystown’ site, which was among the largest child porn platforms on the darknet, with some 400,000 users.