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FBI operation Swiss police arrest 42 connected to paedophile website

Police from 14 towns and cantons were involved in the Swiss operation


An FBI-led operation to bust a global internet child pornography ring led to the arrest of 42 people in Switzerland, according to Swiss federal police. Operation Pacifier resulted in 900 arrests worldwide last year and in 2015.

The FBI managed to shut down a child pornography website called Playpen after identifying the administrators of the Tor darknet site. Investigators were then able to take control of the site and identify 150,000 users. The US authorities passed on 36 cases to the Swiss authorities, which made 42 arrests.

The Swiss police operation was backed by officers from 14 towns and cantons. 

Most of the Swiss charges involved consuming child pornography, but there were some more serious offences. One of the suspects arrested has been linked to a rape committed 10 years ago. The suspect is currently in jail awaiting trial for 12 suspected sexual offences.

Of the 900 arrests resulting globally from Operation Pacifier, 370 took place in Europe. The operation also identified 296 victims who were rescued by the authorities.

A spokeswoman for the Swiss federal police said that the number of reported suspicions of paedophile activity has been rising steadily in recent years. Last year, mainly as a result of the FBI investigation, Swiss police had received some 3,000 tips from the United States.

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