After a two year investigation, Operation Typhon, an international operation into child sex offenders on the Internet, has been concluded. House searches conducted in 19 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – enabled the identification of 221 child sex offenders of which 115 have been arrested.
Some of the offenders are teachers or caretakers, professional backgrounds them made them even more dangerous for children – and worsen their position before law.
The investigation has also led to the identification of 5 children in different countries, aged between 4 and 12, who were the victims of sexual crimes.
The investigation was led by the Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service (.BK) which detected an internet service provider misused by child sex offender groups to distribute illegal content on the Internet. Log files collected by the .BK were sent to Europol together with the child abusive images. After structuring and analysing the content, Europol provided intelligence packages and analytical reports to the EU Member States and those countries affected with a Europol cooperation agreement.
“Child sexual abuse is one of the most horrific crimes so I am extremely pleased that Europol together with our partners have been successful in having these offenders identified and arrested. But most of all I am glad to see that vulnerable children have been identified and saved from further harm,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.
Europol has so far supported 23 international operations. These cases, involving EU member states and other countries with a Europol operational agreement, have so far led to the identification of around 1600 child sex offenders and the identification and rescue of many victims.