MADRID (Reuters) - Spain said Wednesday it was coordinating a
12-nation police operation against Internet child pornography and
around 500 arrests were expected.
Police were making simultaneous searches of homes in Spain, France,
Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Costa Rica,
Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay, the Interior Ministry said
in a statement.
Nineteen people had been arrested so far throughout Spain and
worldwide arrests were expected to total around 500, the ministry
The operation targets child pornography distributed through a
Spanish-language Internet chat room.
Police had found more than 20,000 items containing child porn,
including videos, photographs and MP3 files and had also seized video
cameras and documents, the ministry said.
The investigation began in January when a Spaniard complained to
authorities about "highly aggressive" photographs of very young
children that were available through an Internet chat room, the
Interior Ministry said.
Spanish police monitored the site to find out who was
putting the material on the Internet and tracked down more than
900 connections from all over the world in two weeks.
Spain then informed Eurojust and IbeRed, organizations that coordinate
judicial cooperation in Europe and Latin America respectively.
Investigating judges from all countries involved took part in planning
meetings before Wednesday's swoop.
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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Is it just me, or do other readers
think that child porn is getting increasingly common? It seems like
every few weeks now, we read where X-hundred people have been arrested
for it. Then before long, another X-hundred more have been arrested.
Whoever said that child porn was a universally disliked crime? I
think more people are 'into it' than we realize. PAT]