Jan 18, 2001
COPS SMASH SICK CHILD PORN GROUP; Scot is among men questioned.
POLICE were last night questioning a suspected Scots paedophile as part of Britain’s biggest-ever Internet child porn operation.
The man’s home was one of 24 raided in dawn swoops by forces across Britain.
Officers from Grampian Police seized a computer when they searched the house in Aberdeen.
Twenty-six other computers and a huge haul of photos, videos and magazines, were taken away in the raids, involving more than 100 officers from 13 police forces.
Most of the material is understood to feature sick scenes of children being raped and sexually abused.
Two teachers were among those being questioned last night.
The paedophile unit of the Metropolitan Police co-ordinated the swoops – codenamed Operation Janitress – on houses in Aberdeen, Derby, Liverpool, Hull, Hertfordshire, Reading, Leeds, Preston, Brighton and London.
Met sources say they have smashed a huge child porn ring after two years of work and more arrests will follow.
DCI Bob McLachlan, the head of the paedophile unit, said: “Those responsible believe that the Internet affords anonymity, but technology is increasingly sophisticated.
“These are real innocent children having horrible and heartbreaking things done to them to gratify the sick minds of some people.”
Last night, IT specialists were downloading and cataloguing thousands of pieces of material stored on disk.
A trial last week revealed the extent of paedophile use of the Internet when seven British men admitted conspiracy to distribute child pornography at Kingston Crown Court in Surrey.
The fee to join their organisation, known as the Wonderland Club, was 10,000 new child porn images.
Police discovered the club’s members had access to almost a million child porn images and could even watch children in America being abused by perverts live via Webcam.
The seven will be sentenced next month.
Massive paedophile operation leads to arrests
Thirteen suspected paedophiles were arrested and 27 computers seized in police dawn raids Wednesday in the UK’s largest ever police operation against child pornography on the Internet.
Videos, CD-ROMs and thousands of paedophile pictures — which included images of children being sexually abused — were also seized in raids in both England and Scotland. Those arrested reportedly included the housemaster of a Leicestershire public school.
Forces in Grampian, Derbyshire, Merseyside, Humberside, Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire, Somerset, Bedfordshire, Lancashire, Devon, Cornwall, Sussex and London took part in the raids, codenamed Operation Janitress. Police had worked with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to track down some of those arrested.
Operation Janitress was the result of a two-year investigation, which began after a Gloucestershire man was arrested for the suspected abuse of his children. Police learned he was in contact with a London man who was allegedly running an online child pornography swap club.
DCI Bob McLachlan, head of the Met’s Paedophile Unit, explained that Wednesday’s arrests were the result of an intelligence-led operation targeted at stemming the distribution of child pornography via the Net.
McLachlan claimed that those who possessed such material were themselves guilty of child abuse. “Images like these are evidence of the sexual assault and rape of children — and anyone who buys or downloads them perpetuates the cycle of abuse,” he said.
He explained that while the use of the Web to disseminate paedophilic images was increasing, the police were developing new methods to combat the problem.
“We know that the Internet is increasingly used as a conduit for the exchange of pornographic pictures of children. Those responsible believe that the Internet affords anonymity, but police technology in this area is increasingly sophisticated,” McLachlan warned.
Last week, seven men pleaded guilty to their participation in what was then the world’s biggest Internet pornography ring to be uncovered. Those arrests came as part of Operation Cathedral, a massive international police operation involving 12 countries.
Tuesday, 13 February, 2001,“This week sentences are expected to be handed down on seven men arrested almost three years ago as part of Operation Cathedral – a swoop against paedophiles that spanned 12 countries.
The seven men were part of 107 people arrested by police across the globe. Those arrested were part of the “Wonderland Club”, an online forum set up to swap and share indecent images of children.
Since Operation Cathedral more raids have taken place on both local and national levels against those trading child pornography on the net.
In early December 1999 20 police forces made arrests in 27 different locations as part of Operation Queensland.
The raids followed an investigation by Greater Manchester Police’s obscene publications unit.
Last month police forces in 12 regions took part in Operation Janitress which resulted in the arrest of 13 paedophiles as well as the seizure of computers, videos and images.
The raids were the end result of a two-year investigation that began with the arrest of Gloucestershire man who was suspected of abusing his children that led police, via one of his contacts, to an online forum where child pornography was swapped.”
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