Interpol today concluded a nearly two-year global operation. In addition, an internationally operating child pornography network was taken off the air, as was the financing mechanism that the website managers used to carry out their advertising campaign. Twenty-seven countries took part in the operation, including Europe. A total of six suspects have been arrested.
Interpol reports this in a press statement.
Police arrest Argentinian brother and sister for their part in managing child pornography network
The operation was known internally as Operation Narsil. Narsil is a reference to a ‘longsword that cuts down all evil’. The operation ran from December 2021 to July 2023 and aimed to arrest child pornography network operators who used the sites to monetize advertisements.
In Argentina, local police arrested a brother and sister in their early thirties. During a search of the house, officers seized 14 electronic devices, as well as credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspects allegedly maintained websites with child pornographic images and video material for more than ten years and arranged associated online advertising campaigns.
A 34-year-old man was arrested in Bulgaria. He made his living by running an online forum where child abuse imagery was shared. According to the Bulgarian police, he has been doing so since 2020. Thousands of media files on the sexual exploitation of young children were found on the forum.
Arrests in Russia and Thailand
In Russia, two 24-year-old citizens were arrested on suspicion of producing and distributing sexual abuse of minors online. Russian police searched the suspects’ homes and seized computer equipment with specialized software for creating and managing websites. The police also found external hard drives containing child pornography.
A 45-year-old Thai man has been arrested in Thailand for possessing and distributing child pornography online. He was arrested after police searched his home and found large amounts of child pornography and financial transaction data before its distribution.
Interpol wants to send ‘strong signal’ by taking down child pornography network
“Operation Narsil sends a strong signal to the criminals who monetize these websites that Interpol, and its alliance of law enforcement agencies in 195 member countries, know where they are, what they are doing and how to find them,” said Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol on the arrests.
He is happy with the results of the almost two-year operation. Identifying and taking down websites and forums that distribute child pornography reduces the availability of such images and video material and ensures that abused children do not become victims again.
Over the past thirteen years, Interpol has taken down more than 20,000 domain names. A total of 27 countries participated in Operation Narsil, including the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US.