Online Child Sexual Abuse: Law Enforcement Agencies Face Huge Investigation in Italy

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Online Child Sexual Abuse: A successful investigation meant to curb online child sexual abuse organized by the Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) of Turin and actively supported by Europol, has resulted in 50 investigations along with several searches across Italy. The investigators targeted the suspects having produced, exchanges and possessed child sexual abuse materials. The investigation was the result of referrals through Europol by the Canadian National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC).

The communication took place via the most popular instant messaging application, and they had been referred to the cops as soon as the service owners detected them.

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Image: Europol

The Investigation Across Italy Involved 200 Investigators

Law Enforcement agency Europol handles the receipt, the processing and the onward distribution of all of these intelligence reports from Canada to all the EU Member States. In this particular case, Europol sent the data in mid-January, 2019. The “Operation 50 Community” investigation was directed by the Turin Prosecutor’s Office that was coordinated by the Italian Postal and Communications Police National Centre for Countering Child Abuse Online (CNCPO). It involved 200 investigators across the country.

The searches that have been reported by the cops have resulted in the arrest of three individuals. This excluded the seizure of files numbered in thousands. During the investigation period, the officers have unearthed that one of the suspects identified, has earlier been arrested on accounts of online child sexual abuse. The other discoveries in this matter included the images and the videos of the online child sexual abuse, where there were mostly babies. Plus, the abuse materials involved animals, suspects utilizing abbreviations for pre-teen child abuse and references to 6-year-old children.

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Image: News 1 English

The Turin Prosecutor’s Office has stated that the investigation was pretty lengthy and quite complicated. It involved the tracing of the nicknames that had been used by the suspects online and tracking the suspects behind their criminal activities. The process is the result of a combination of open-source investigation and as well as technical analysis.

Europol‘s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)’s Acting Head Fernando Ruiz said that the role Europol has played in providing a safe means of channelling these reports from Canada to the EU Member State’s police is vital in making sure that this valuable intelligence can be investigated and also acted on. This operation, backed by so many agencies and investigators, reveals swift international cooperation and dedicated resources to make children safer.

Source: Europol


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