Spain’s civil guard have today arrested 19 people from several towns in Spain as part of an international operation led by Spanish police against an international ring of paedophiles distributing child pornography over the Internet. Over 500 arrests are expected during the next few hours in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America.
Spanish police started investigating the case in January of this year after somebody in Pontevedra, Galicia, reported the existence of an Internet chat site offering access to agressive and pornographic photos of young children. Police started monitoring the site to try and discover who was publishing the material.
After just 15 days they had identified more than 900 conexion points from all over the world. Since then, and with the help of Eurojust and IbeRed, police have seized over 20.000 pieces of paedophile material including videos, photos and MP3 files.
The Spanish civil guard organised meetings with judges and police from the countries involved in the case, and today police are simultaneously searching homes in Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Holand, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.
In Spain people have been arrested in Madrid, Alicante, Valencia, Salamanca, Zamora, Burgos, Vizcaya, Lleida, Barcelona, Asturias, Tenerife, Mallorca y Pontevedra.
The Spanish Interior Minister, José Antonio Alonso confirmed the operation to reporters this morning and said that paedophilia was a disgrace that was intolerable in any democratic society.