International child porn operation smashed

Summary:A 27-year-old student, Leonidas Contoulis, was arrested by police in Edinburgh last week as part of a co-ordinated international swoop on child porn rings.

The arrest formed part of thirty simultaneous raids on addresses in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the United States, Canada and the UK. Code-named Operation Bavaria, the Internet pornography ring was smashed when German police found thousands of pornographic images of children as young as three in an Internet chat room.

According to a statement from Lothian and Borders police, Contoulis appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday. He was bailed, pending investigations. No date is yet set for his return to court.

The raid follows the success of Operation Cathedral, the largest ever Internet raid, culminating in over 100 arrests word-wide and the seizure of close to a million pornographic images of children. The latest swoop sees another successful international operation in the fight against child pornography on the Internet and was co-ordinated by a set of Internet experts set up by the Munich police four years ago.

According to a spokesman for the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) -- the police body which provided the intelligence for the UK arm of the operation -- fifteen arrests were made in Germany, five in the US, two in Canada, four in Norway and one in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland and France. A quantity of floppy discs, CD-Roms and other files were seized in each case. An NCIS spokesman said of the raid: "This is not as big as Operation Cathedral, in which every member had 10,000 images but it is another international porn ring that has been cracked."

Today sees the start of Part 2 in our Web of Porn News Special. ZDNet reports on the efforts of parents, police and governments to stop paedophiles operating on the Net. Take me to the Web of Porn Special

Topics: Networking

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