Poland Arrests 44 in Operation Against Child Predators & Child Pornography
Polish authorities carried out a nationwide operation against perpetrators of child sexual exploitation and child pornography, culminating in over 40 arrests made and the seizure of over 15,000 files of photographic material depicting the sexual abuse of children, some as young as toddlers and even infants.
Central Cybercrime Bureau (CBZC), aided by other domestic agencies as well as Europol, conducted 82 searches across 14 of the country’s 16 provinces at the end of October. Police came away with 44 individuals suspected of storing and disseminating 15,500 photos and videos of child pornography.Poland’s
Authorities discovered these illegal files within 350 large-capacity digital storage units. Many of the files depict children who are barely a few years old, and even some where the victims are mere infants.
Some of the images remain, as of now, encrypted and will need to be decrypted before they can be properly examined alongside the thousands of others already catalogued in evidence.
Officers assigned to the case, in addition to being specially trained in investigating perpetrators linked to the distribution of child sexual abuse material, also possess extensive real world operational experience in such matters, Europol said.
The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, a U.S. non-profit whose purpose is to aid authorities in the fight against child abuse and human trafficking, also aided police in their efforts against the 44 alleged child predators.
The evidence gathered during the operation, CBZC said, have furthered their efforts in connecting threads tied to other ongoing cases, showcasing how interlinked crimes pertaining to the sexual abuse of children can be.
One of the suspects arrested is a 38-year-old man who already possesses a criminal record of sexual abuse against girls aged four and five; as well as a 53-year-old individual who, in 2020, completed a five and a half year prison sentence for sexually abusing minors.
In one of the 82 locations searched, investigators discovered that the suspect had ongoing correspondence with a ten-year-old boy, suggesting that the individual had obtained the child’s trust in order to sexually exploit him later on. Like the others, the suspect in question has a history of child sexual abuse—in at least one case where the minor was younger than ten—and similarly concluded a prison sentence for such crimes back in 2020.
It is the police’s hope that in uncovering this evidence and arresting the individual, they have saved the child from the suspect’s grasp.