Some of those arrested held ‘positions of public trust’
A total of fifty children were saved on Thursday after international police group Interpol announced nine people were arrested in the US, Australia, and Thailand following an investigation into an online pedophile ring on the dark web.
Authorities are expecting more arrests to come as police proceed with the investigation in nearly 60 countries originating from an Interpol operation that launched into the pedophile “dark web” site with 63,000 users worldwide.
Following the arrests, fifty children were rescued, police have confirmed.
Police are now attempting to identify a further indecent 100 in images that have been shared across the dark web.
Interpol said its operation, named ‘Blackwrist,’ was launched after the material was discovered and traced back to a site taking subscriptions on the dark web.
Members of the site were used encrypted software, enabling them to hide behind layers of secrecy.
Users of the dark web need specific URL addresses to land on site, and can’t be found via conventional search engines.
Agencies from across the globe were drafted in to help Interpol capture the pedophile ring.
The US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) department then tracked the site’s IP address, where it discovered videos and images being posted.
The chief sites administrator, Montri Salangam, was detained in Thailand in 2018, followed by another administrator, Ruecha Tokputza, was captured by authorities in Australia.
Thai courts sentenced Salangam to 146 years in prison in June 2018, one of his victims included his nephew.
His associate, a pre-school teacher, got six years.
Last Friday, Tokputza was given a 40-year prison term at his trial in Australia, the lengthiest sentence ever for a child sex offense in the country.
Tokputza, pleaded guilty to 50 counts of child abuse, which also included babies, one being just 15 months old, between 2011 and 2018.
Speaking on the case, Judge Liesl Chapman said, “you are a child’s worst nightmare, you are every parent’s horror, you are a menace to the community,”
Others arrested were not formally identified by Interpol.
Eric McLoughlin, the HSI’s regional attache in Bangkok, said that “numerous arrests” had been made in the United States, according to a statement.
He added that some of those arrested held “positions of public trust,” with one individual abusing two-year-old who was his stepbrother.
“Operation Blackwrist sends a clear message to those abusing children, producing child sexual exploitation material and sharing the images online: We see you, and you will be brought to justice,” Interpol’s Secretary General Juergen Stock said.