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Cops smash paedophile ring

700 suspects, 200 in UK

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A detailed investigation by British police has led to the collapse of a paedophile ring involving 700 people, 200 of them in the UK.

The 10 month investigation involved police forces in 35 countries. Investigators have already rescued 31 children from abuse. Police investigations continue against 200 British suspects.

Timothy David Martyn Cox, a 27-year-old man from Buxhall, Suffolk, has been convicted of nine offences of Possession or Distribution of Indecent Images of Children. He awaits sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court. Cox hosted an internet chatroom, called "Kids the Light of Our Lives!" from his home, which was used to trade images and videos of children being assaulted.

The operation was led the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). CEOP was first alerted by Canadian police and arrested Cox on 28 September, 2006. Undercover officers from CEOP and the Toronto Police then posed as Cox, using his online identity of Son_of_god, for 10 days to gather evidence against others using his site.

Cox's computer contained almost 76,000 illegal images, as well as evidence that he had traded over 11,000 images.

CEOP CEO Jim Gamble said: "From the apparent 'safety' of his home, Cox spent hours each day planning, promoting and encouraging the abuse and exploitation of innocent young victims. In doing so he provided a service to hundreds of like minded individuals, enabling those with a sexual interest in children to share indecent images and discuss further plans for abuse.

"Any individual who thinks they carry out such horrific activities undetected is in for a very rude awakening."

The full CEOP statement is here. ®

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