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MASSIVE INVESTIGATION IN ITALY COMBATING ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE/Italian/German mafia

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MASSIVE INVESTIGATION IN ITALY COMBATING ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

08 July 2020

Press Release

Communications took place through a popular instant messaging application, and they were referred to the police once they were detected by the service owners.

A successful investigation to tackle online child abuse conducted by the Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) of Turin and supported by Europol, has led to 50 investigations and several searches across the country. Working from referrals through Europol by the Canadian National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC), investigators targeted suspects producing, exchanging and possessing child sexual abuse material.

200 investigators involved across Italy

Europol handles the receipt, processing and onward distribution of these intelligence reports from Canada to all of the EU Member States. In this case, the data was sent by Europol in mid-January 2019. The Turin Prosecutor’s Office directed the “Operation 50 Community” investigation which was coordinated by the Italian Postal and Communications Police National Centre for Countering Child Abuse Online (CNCPO) and involved 200 investigators across Italy.

The searches reported by the police led to the arrest of 3 individuals, alongside the seizure of thousands of files. During the course of the investigation, the officers discovered that one of the suspects identified had been previously arrested for sexual abuse of children. Other discoveries included images and videos of sexual violence in which the victims were mainly babies, abuse material involving animals, references to 6 year old children and suspects using abbreviations for pre-teen child abuse.

The Turin Prosecutor’s Office stated that the investigation was long and complex involving the tracing of the nicknames used by the suspects online and finding the suspects behind their activities. A combination of open source investigation and technical analysis was used during the process.

The Acting Head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Fernando Ruiz, said:

Europol’s role in providing a secure means of channelling these reports from Canada to the EU Member States’ police is essential to making sure this valuable intelligence can be investigated and acted on. This operation co-ordinated by our Italian colleagues and directed by the Turin Prosecutor’s Office shows the importance of having a swift international cooperation and dedicated resources to make children safer.

https://twitter.com/grasshopperxcc/status/1280831894154809344

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/massive-investigation-in-italy-combating-online-child-sexual-abuse

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A large-scale mafia raid resulted in the arrests of 45 people in Sicily and one person in the German city of Wolfsburg, Italy's Carabinieri announced on Wednesday.

A joint operation between the Carabinieri, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and Europol targeted clans of the Cosa Nostra — the Sicilian Mafia — from the towns of Barrafranca and Pietraperzia in Sicily's inland province of Enna.

Police accused an ex-politician of running local mafia operations. He was released on health grounds from a life sentence for mob crimes in 2018 and allegedly immediately resumed his role as a kind of godfather.

He and the others just arrested face charges including mafia association, drug trafficking, extortion, aggravated corruption and illegal arms possession.

Another family member, described as a prominent associate, was arrested in Germany. Police also seized assets worth more than €1 million.

It comes as part of a series of mafia crackdowns in Italy.

German and Islamic State link

In separate mafia raids, Italian police seized 84 million amphetamine pills with possible Islamic State origins that were hidden inside German-origin paper cylinders. Police found 14 tons of pills marked Captagon — a highly addictive amphetamine-based drug that has been widely trafficked by IS — that police said was of Syrian origin.

It is "well known" that Islamic State "finances its activities largely by trafficking synthetic drugs largely produced in Syria, which has become the leading world producer of amphetamines in recent years," Italian police said.

The Guardia di Finanza customs and financial crimes police said they suspected the involvement of the Camorra, the mafia organization that operates in Naples area, of being involved in the drugs, which were intercepted at the port of Salerno.

The Guardia di Finanza said it was likely that European drug traffickers had turned to Syrian suppliers after amphetamine drug production in Europe was largely halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And in another bust, Italy's anti-mafia police said on Tuesday they had disrupted a major international drug trafficking ring between Albania and Italy.

Two years of investigations revealed an alleged network of Italian and Albanian operators who smuggled drugs across the Adriatic to the southern Italian region of Puglia. Thirty-seven people were arrested in Tuesday's sting.

https://www.dw.com/en/dozens-arrested-in-anti-mafia-raids-in-italy-germany/a-54015083

https://twitter.com/EllenKoko/status/1280933560908685313