Many arrested worldwide as Spain police smash global pedophile ring

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 10, 2019, 10.23 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

Representative Image. Photograph:( ANI )

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According to the police, the investigation took two years and spanned three continents

Spanish police today arrested seventeen people, mostly teenage boys for sharing ''extremely violent'' images of child pornography on social networking application Whatsapp.

According to the police, the investigation took two years and spanned three continents.

Spain's national police have detained 33 people in raids across 11 countries.

Besides 17 people who were arrested in Spain, nine more are currently being held for investigation, with a total of 14 teenage boys involved.

They were arrested for storing and sharing pornographic files, which in some cases were "extremely serious", Casas said.

After being tipped off via emails, police discovered "a Whatsapp group formed by minors, in which several participants had normalised the existence of child pornography and the sexual abuse of other minors".

Casas indicated some involved the graphic abuse and rape of very young children, including "babies of just a few months up to children aged 11 or 12".

Besides sharing files, the perpetrators had produced ''stickers'', which are small, digital images akin to emojis that can be readily pushed online. These stickers showed ''very young children being abused''.

In Spain, most arrested were minors, with the youngest just 15, police spokesman Eduardo Casas told AFP.

20 people were arrested in Europe, 17 in Spain, and three others in Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

A further 10 were arrested in Latin America, four in Ecuador, two in Uruguay, two in Peru and two in Costa Rica. Another three were picked up in India, Pakistan and Syria.

(With inputs from AFP)