Added by Annika L. Krugel on March 18, 2011
31 Australians are among 184 people around the world who have been arrested following a three-year international investigation resulting in the uncovering of the biggest pedophilia syndicate to date, police says.
Four of those arrested in Australia are believed to be high-ranking members of the syndicate, which used an online network, boylover.net, a supposedly legitimate venue for conversations about pedophilia, to cover up their activities.
Those arrested were members of the Dutch website, which at one point had 70,000 members – mostly men.
The suspects include lifesavers, teachers and scout leaders.
The international investigation, Operation Rescue, involved police from Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the U.S., Canada, as well as investigators from British Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
It is believed that more than 200 children from around the world were saved as a result of the operation.
“We will never know the total figure due to it being such a limitless crime. Global law enforcement is working together internationally to protect children wherever they may be in the world,” said Grant Edwards, manager of investigations at the high tech crime lab in Canberra.