20 arrested in Brazil in Interpol pedophile picture swoop
Brazilian police, acting in cooperation with German counterparts through Interpol, arrested 20 people Tuesday in a swoop against individuals possessing and making images of pedophile abuse, officials said.
Some 400 officers carrying out search warrants against 81 suspects raided addresses in 57 Brazilian cities, a police spokesman told AFP. Searches were ongoing.
Of the 20 people arrested, six were believed to have carried out sexual abuse against the children shown in the images.
"From the seized images, it can be seen that the victims were family members or close to the suspects," the spokesman said.
The head of a special police unit combating child pornography on the Internet, Stenio Santos Souza, said the violence in some of the images was shocking.
"We have obtained video images involving children and at times babies being abused by adults that make us think that there is less humanity in the world than before," he told reporters.
The operation was started a year ago in Germany on the basis of police action there that uncovered an online group trading sexually violent pedophile images around the world.
It was dubbed "Persian Rug," police said, "in allusion to one of the shared videos that showed a six-year-old minor being sexually abused with a Persian rug in the background."
© 2010 AFP