International operation swoops on child sexual abusers
A global operation targeting individuals using social networking groups to exchange child abuse material has targeted 55 key suspects in 20 countries.
The operation saw 12 children identified and removed from harm and a number of suspects arrested.
Codenamed Laminar, the operation began in October 2010 as a covert online investigation by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) Censorship Compliance Unit which alerted INTERPOL’s Crimes Against Children team after identifying significant amounts of abusive and exploitative pictures being exchanged via social network sites, including Facebook, Socialgo, and grou.ps, and alerted international law enforcement agencies.
Working with the Child Exploitation Investigations unit (CEIU) of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity section, the investigation coordinated by INTERPOL led to the identification of nearly 80 groups engaged in the display or distribution of previously seen and unseen child sexual abuse images.
The investigation was conducted with the support and assistance of Facebook officials following the identification of key targets and their associated groups within their network.
For more information on Operation Laminar, visit the INTERPOL website.
Operation swoops on child sexual abusers
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