A major breakthrough by US police officers investigating Internet child pornography has resulted in the identification of over 7,000 suspected British paedophiles.
The FBI has passed details of 7,272 UK residents who paid to access paedophilic images to the UK's National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph.
NCIS is thought to have used some of this information already, when it arrested at least 30 suspected paedophiles back in May, in a series of co-ordinated raids on homes across the country. Many more arrests are expected to follow.
The FBI obtained the information after discovering and seizing two US-based Web sites offering child pornography. Subscribers paid by credit card to access these sites, and it is the credit card details and email addresses of the 7,272 UK-based subscribers that the FBI has supplied to NCIS.
NCIS said in May that it was working closely with US authorities to track down UK paedophiles who were using the Internet to access child pornography.
NCIS was not immediately available for comment.