Dozens Arrested in Argentina-led Operation Against Sexual Exploitation of Minors

Published: 30 August 2023

Police Panama Operation

Police search within the Operation International Partners for Children (Operación Internacional Aliados Por la Infancia). (Photo: Procuraduría General de la Nación de República de Panamá/Twitter, License)

By Lieth Carrillo

Argentina coordinated on Monday an international operation to dismantle networks that have produced and transmitted child sexual abuse material at home and abroad. This is the first action of its kind created and led by Buenos Aires.

"Operation International Partners for Children (Operación Internacional Aliados Por la Infancia)" resulted in 61 simultaneous raids in Argentina and 89 raids in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, Panama, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico.

In Argentina alone, 46 people were arrested and more than 700 technological devices related to illicit activities were seized, including notebooks, tablets, cell phones, storage devices, video game consoles, firearms, and ammunition, among other items. A total of 33 captures were recorded in the other South American countries.

“The operation involved the participation of almost all the country's security forces. Argentine Federal Police, National Gendarmerie, Argentine Naval Prefecture, City Police, Buenos Aires Police, and the provincial police of each district,” stated the Public Prosecutor's Office of Argentina.

The investigation was carried out through the ICACCOPS platform (Internet Crimes Against Children Child On-line Protection System), which is used to verify the trafficking of child sexual exploitation material on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.

By using this platform, the investigators were able to identify the IP addresses associated with suspected child sexual exploitation material, which made it possible to locate the owners and addresses of those involved.

"This is the first international action conceived and coordinated by Argentina to combat the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. It was achieved thanks to the joint work carried out by the authorities of the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (H.S.I.), and the Public Prosecutor's Office of the CABA", stated the Public Prosecutor's Office of Argentina.