herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Snapper arrested in child abuse ring swoop

A photographer based in Ireland was one of 10 people arrested in a Europe-wide investigation into a network of "child abuse photographers".

The individual who has not been named was arrested and questioned by gardai as part of an operation to dismantle the network of professional photographers based in six countries.

There were five people arrested in the Czech Republic, two in Sweden and one each in France, Spain and Ireland.

"The Czech target took advantage of socially and financially disadvantaged children by convincing them to pose for him - close to 70 children became victims," a spokeswoman for Europol said. "The suspects then distributed these illegal child abuse images off and online to customers abroad."

Distribution

It is understood that the Swedish suspect co-operated closely with the Czech target to distribute the illegal material in the EU and Canada.

There is no suggestion that the man arrested in Ireland was involved in the production of imagery.

The Europol spokeswoman said that during six house searches, a total of 30 terabytes of data were seized, along with hundreds of DVDs and 480,000 files.

The files will now be analysed by forensic experts with a view to compiling evidence. The operation, code-named Atelier, was kicked off by the Czech law enforcement authorities.

hnews@herald.ie

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