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'Boystown' child sexual abuse website shut down in multi-national police operation

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from Gen McInerney


CHILD ABUSE 'Boystown' child sexual abuse website shut down in multi-national police operation

May 03 2021

Four people have been arrested in a multi-national police operation targeting one of Europe’s most prolific child sexual abuse platforms on the dark web.

The dark web platform, known as ‘Boystown’, has been taken down by an international taskforce set up by the German Federal Criminal Police.

This site hosted material on the sexual abuse of children and had 400,000 registered users when it was shut down.

Several other chat sites on the dark web used by child sexual offenders were also taken over by authorities at the same time.

Authorities said today the platform shows how child sex-offenders are seeking ways to avoid being targeted by police operations.

It also shows that efforts are being made to organise ‘communities’ of people interested in child sexual abuse imagery.

All four of those arrested last week are German nationals.

More arrests are expected as seized information will be used by victim identification taskforce and local police forces are given the material.

Europol and law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the United States were involved in this operation.


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‘Most severe sexual abuse’: German police bust darknet child-porn platform boasting 400,000 users worldwide

3 May, 2021 14:39

German police have raided one of the world’s largest child-porn platforms, a darknet site called ‘Boystown’, arresting several suspects believed to be its administrators. The site had some 400,000 users at the time of its closure.

The shutdown of the platform was announced in a statement by Frankfurt prosecutors together with the Federal Criminal Police Office on Monday.

Law enforcement officials said they had caught three suspects believed to be the administrators of the now-defunct platform, which reportedly had over 400,000 users at the time the police operation took it offline.

Police described it as “one of the world’s biggest child pornography darknet platforms” and said it has been active since at least June 2019. Several other chat platforms dedicated to sharing child pornography were also taken offline during the raids.

Two suspects, a 40-year-old man from Paderborn and a 49-year-old man from Munich, were arrested during police raids in mid-April. Another suspect, a 58-year-old man from northern Germany, was arrested in Paraguay where he has resided for years. Germany has requested his extradition.

The police have also detained a fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, believed to be one of the platform’s most active users. They said the man has allegedly uploaded over 3,500 posts containing highly illegal content to the platform.

A large cache of pornographic materials, including imagery of “most severe sexual abuse of toddlers”, has been seized during the raids.

The takedown of the child pornography network was hailed by top German officials who said the successful police action shows the authorities able to effectively protect the most vulnerable and punish the sexual predators who prey on them.

“This investigative success has a clear message: Those who assault the weakest aren’t safe anywhere,” German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stated. ”That’s what investigators work for day and night, online and offline, globally.”

The bust followed a months-long probe that was coordinated by Europol. Law enforcement officials in the Netherlands, Sweden, the US and Canada have also contributed to the investigation, German police said.