17 Belgian arrests in Europol child porn raids

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 June 2005, AMSETRDAM — Police in 13 European countries, including Belgium, have raided an estimated 150 homes in a massive operation against suspected child pornography networks.

14 June 2005

AMSETRDAM — Police in 13 European countries, including Belgium, have raided an estimated 150 homes in a massive operation against suspected child pornography networks.

Police seized on Tuesday a large number of desktop computers, laptops, videotapes and other material suspected to have contained child pornography.

Some 20 raids were carried out in Belgium, resulting in the arrest of 17 suspects. The suspects were expected to appear in court also on Tuesday. In total, Europol targeted 230 suspects in the European-wide raids.

Codenamed Icebreaker, Europol said the operation was the "largest international police operation ever co-ordinated and supported by Europol within this area of crime".

Besides Belgium, raids were also carried out in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. Various countries in Eastern Europe were also targeted.

Italian police played a leading role in the operation because Italy initiated the raids and most of the evidence was gathered in the Southern European nation.

According to Europol, the suspected members of the child porn networks had devised ingenious ways to disguise their electronic identity and code their communication.

Europol helped local police identify the suspects and hopes this will lead to the unmasking of several child pornography makers.

Possession of child pornography can result in a jail term ranging from one month to a year. Spreading child pornography can carry a sentence of five to 10 years.

Twelve regional Belgian prosecution offices participated in the raids, which were co-ordinated by the federal prosecution office and federal police.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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