Navigation

Swiss identified in global child porn sweep

The child porn network spanned several countries swissinfo.ch

German police say they have smashed a vast child pornography network spanning more than 160 countries, including Switzerland.

This content was published on September 26, 2003 - 13:54

The Swiss authorities say they have opened inquiries against eight suspects as a result of evidence gathered during the police operation, dubbed “Marcy”.

The Federal Police Office said it expected to receive further information from police in neighbouring Germany. Spokesman Guido Balmer told swissinfo that the number of investigations was expected to rise significantly.

However, Balmer said the latest operation was on a smaller scale to last year’s Operation Genesis, when more than 1,000 suspected child pornographers were questioned in Switzerland.

Balmer said cooperation with Germany began last November, after the authorities there cracked an Internet child pornography ring involving some 26,500 people worldwide.

However, he refused to give further information about ongoing investigations in Switzerland.

German police have confiscated more than 40,000 videos and computer discs, and seized nearly 800 computers.

Operation Genesis

A previous child porn sweep last year resulted in Swiss police working through a list of 1,046 suspects provided by the United States authorities.

More than 60 people received suspended prison sentences and 163 fines were handed out.

The Federal Police Office said it would publish a final report on Operation Genesis by the end of the year.

The latest crackdown comes ahead of Saturday’s planned street protests in Switzerland against paedophile crime.

Silent march

Organisers are staging silent marches in 12 cities and towns across the country to pressure the Swiss authorities to take tougher action against offenders.

Two previous demonstrations attracted large crowds in western Switzerland, but turnout was lower in the main German-speaking part of the country.

The non-governmental Marche Blanche (White March) Association has criticised the slow pace of investigations and the small number of police officers investigating paedophile crime.

At the beginning of the year the Swiss authorities set up a special unit to police the Internet.

Under Swiss law, the possession or downloading of hardcore pornography from the Internet carries a maximum one-year prison sentence.

swissinfo with agencies

Child porn sweep, Marcy

German police uncovered 26,500 suspected child pornographers in 166 countries in Operation Marcy.
Swiss police have so far opened inquiries against eight suspects.
In a previous crackdown, the Swiss authorities questioned more than 1,000 suspects and handed down 63 suspended prison sentences.
Under Swiss law, possession or downloading of hardcore pornography from the Internet carries a maximum one-year prison sentence.

End of insertion
In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?