Dutch probe hidden US child porn sites

2011-08-31 22:22

Amsterdam - Dutch police have uncovered huge caches of child pornography on "hidden" websites, including four based in the United States, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

The discovery was made as part of the far-reaching investigation into a suspected paedophile identified only as Robert M who was arrested in Amsterdam last year. He is accused of abusing dozens of young children while he worked in at least two Amsterdam preschools.

The Dutch police's National Investigations Office said in a statement it had managed to infiltrate several "hidden services" sites internationally where users can surf the internet and communicate anonymously.

There, they found some 220 000 child pornography photos and videos.

Four of the websites were housed on two servers based in the United States. Investigators managed to break into them and access the images as well as online chats that included identifying details of users of the sites. The details are being turned over to the FBI, prosecutors said.

Prosecution spokesperson Wim de Bruin said no arrests have yet been made as a result of the discovery.

Prosecutors said they saved the images as evidence before deleting them from the servers.

One of the hidden sites police discovered was called "Violent Desires".

"As well as child pornography, it contained a discussion forum that included chats about abducting, abusing and killing children," prosecutors said.

They also gained access as visitors to 11 sites containing child pornography, where they posted police warning signs in a move designed to scare off people accessing the sites.

Robert M was arrested last December and his computers seized. Prosecutors say he has confessed to dozens of sex crimes inflicted on boys and girls aged under four years.

- AP
Read more on:    netherlands  |  pornography  |  internet  |  child abuse
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