Investigators have taken down a massive paedophile website used to share appalling images and videos of children being sexually exploited. The sick site had almost 400,000 members, making it one of the biggest in the world. Three men have been arrested for managing the platform, while a third has been cuffed for uploading masses of obscene files.
File sharing paedo site, Boystown has been live on the dark web since July 2019. A German taskforce first detected the site and brought in EU and non-EU partners from the Netherlands, Australia, the US and Canada to take it down.
All four suspects are male and German. The three thought to have maintained the site are a 49-year-old from Munich, a 40-year-old from Paderborn and a 58-year-old from the north of Germany who had previously been living in Paraguay for several years.
According to the police, the three men provided information on how to remain anonymous online to avoid detection.
“Of course this anonymity makes it really hard to investigate these platforms,” said analyst, Janina Semenova of German media outlet DW who added that the bust was “a major sensation for German investigators” due to Boystown being “one of the biggest dark web platforms of this kind.”
The fourth suspect, a 64-year-old from Hamburg is alleged to have uploaded more than 3,500 images and video after becoming a member in 2019. He is thought to have been one of the site’s most active members.
“Among the images and video recordings shared were also recordings of the most severe sexual abuse of young children,” said German prosecutors.
In a statement, Europol said that several other chats sites were seized, adding: “The image and video data seized during this investigation will be used for Victim Identification Taskforces organized on a regular basis at Europol.
“More arrests and rescues are to be expected globally as police worldwide examine the intelligence packages compiled by Europol.”
Disgusting crimes committed against vulnerable children by evil sexual predators have hit the headlines lately. In Britain, a convicted nonce was given a suspended sentence last week after being found with a trove of 500 images and 2 videos of child asbuse, including torture. His weak sentence sparked outrage.
A few days earlier, another paedophile was bashed up by inmates at Wandsworth prison seeking a different kind of justice. The rapist had to be taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, investigators are faced with fumbling in the inky recesses of the dark web to clampdown on the horrifying activities of paedophiles across the globe. For now, it is slow going. As soon as investigators take down one site, another springs up, cautioned Semenova. She added a note of optimism though.
“In the future, there hopefully won’t be any other platforms of this kind.”