Dateline online sexual predators
One Spaniard who worked at summer youth camps is suspected of abusing some 100 children over five years.
Europol director Rob Wainwright said Wednesday the ring, which communicated using an Internet forum, was "probably the largest online pedophile network in the world." Cori Bassett, a public affairs officer for U. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an email that there had been five arrests and four convictions in connection with Operation Rescue in the U. "Arrests so far have been made in Georgia and Connecticut.
"The media likes to use the term 'vigilante' because it gets attention, but we don't consider ourselves vigilantes.
We cultivate cooperation with police and work within the law to get justice, not outside of the law." Perverted-Justice functions by supporting volunteers who act as informants in chat rooms where children and minors can typically be found.
"Having made contact on the site, some members would move to more private channels, such as email, to exchange and share illegal images and films of children being abused.
Computers seized from those arrested have harvested huge quantities of child abuse images and videos," it added.
Von Erck said he got the idea for the website while watching people attempt to groom young girls in chat rooms in Oregon.
He says Perverted-Justice is a computer watchdog agency that works closely with law enforcement agencies.
The website was shut down following the three-year investigation, Europol said.
Grant Edwards, of the Australian Federal Police (right), Peter Davis (center) of the U.
K.'s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Europol director Rob Wainwright outline details of arrests during "Operation Rescue" linked to a global child abuse network during a news conference in The Hague Wednesday.
Police infiltrated site The Europol statement said U. and Australian police infiltrated the site to identify the members who posed the greatest danger to children.
Police also sometimes posed as children online as part of the investigation.
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The volunteers' public profiles have youthful-sounding usernames, young ages, and pictures of children.