International child porn ring smashed

International Day of Action

Two UK men, both alleged members of The Brotherhood, a worldwide child porn ring, were arrested today in an "International Day of Action".

The UK men were among 21 "board owners, senior administrators and administrators of a complex Internet paedophile network have had premises under their control searched in five different countries in connection with making and distributing paedophilic images".

The UK arrests were a retail manager, 36, from Worcestershire; and an ex-engineer in the Merchant Navy, 51, from Northants. Others arrested or questioned today include ten Americans, seven Germans, one Canadian and one Norwegian.

The International Day of Action was conducted by the FBI, Europol, US Customs, and law enforcement agencies from Canada, Germany and the UK’s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).

The Brotherhood paedophile ring was unearthed at the beginning of this year when the FBI arrested a man in Colorado for "grooming a young child in a chat room and meeting her for a sexual purpose". NHTCU office identified the man as Wizard, a "board owner, and senior administrator of other boards and a member of The Brotherhood".

On Wizard's PC was found a photograph of seven men at
at a remote farm in the US conducting their annual meeting, creepily codenamed ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’.

Police identified the attendees and also those who were invited to the Teddy Bear's picnic. They came from Canada, Germany, Norway, the UK, the USA and other countries worldwide.

Said the NHCTU in a statement: "They are all owners, senior administrators, administrators of sophisticated hierarchical Bulletin Boards – PR/LolitaLovers, Little Angels, Sanctuary, Board Admin, WizardsRealm, Chessboard, American Bowling Association, Lolita’s Dream, The Old Farmhouse and Phil’s Memorial Board."

Detective Superintendent Mick Deats, Deputy Head of the NHTCU said: “This operation has exposed the complex, sophisticated and organised hierarchical structure that on-line child abuse groups use to protect themselves, including their identities and the activities they are involved in, from those in the wider community, and in particular law enforcement.

“The fact that these people have come together in the real world as opposed to the virtual world shows how their confidence has grown. Initially they acted with anonymity on the Internet, but eventually had to further that by meeting in the real world. That confidence was misplaced -- there is no hiding place on the Internet.

“Today is a mopping up exercise. To date we have identified and taken action on more than 60 people who are members of The Brotherhood and associated bulletin boards. Today’s results illustrate an excellent example of how international law enforcement works in partnership, across multi-geographical jurisdictions, to identify and bring to justice those responsible for and engaged in serious sexual abuse of children." ®

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