UK smashes 45-country child-porn ring

2011-05-06 20:41
London - One of Britain's smallest police forces has smashed an international child pornography network stretching across 45 countries that was operated from a hamlet in rural Lincolnshire, officers said on Friday.

Lincolnshire police said it led a team of other agencies to uncover a UK-based "news service" website offering more than 1 300 suspected paedophiles millions of indecent images of children from a server operated in the hamlet of Martin Dales.

Four men pleaded guilty on Friday to a number of charges relating to the distribution and possession of indecent images of children at Nottingham Crown Court.

"For me, this investigation was ground-breaking," said Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Bannister.

"In many respects it was very much more difficult as the force ... was not only leading a large-scale international operation, but also handling extremely challenging types of criminality.

"I hope this case sends out a powerful message to people with a sexual interest in children worldwide - the internet is not a place for this kind of activity. We will trace you and you will be brought to justice."

During the four-year enquiry, 2 182 exhibits were seized, including an industrial-sized server with the storage capacity of 3.2 million floppy disks, that consumed so much electricity it dimmed lights in the building in which it was examined.

Officers have so far catalogued 5.5 million images and nearly 6 000 films, located 211 suspects, secured 38 convictions and 132 children in Britain are being protected and safeguarded as a result of the investigation.

Read more on:    pornography  |  child abuse

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