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Police search homes of seven men in growing child pornography case


Police search homes of seven men in growing child pornography case

Police across the Netherlands searched the homes of seven different suspected of involvement in the acquisition and distribution of photographs and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. The seven men came into the picture as possible subjects during an investigation involving chat applications that use end-to-end encryption, police said on Thursday.

“Even though the suspects thought they were communicating safely and anonymously on these encrypted applications, their identity has been established,” police wrote in a statement.

Police have not yet made an arrest in the case. The suspects are between the ages of 41 and 71, but police did not specify where their homes are located.

“They came into the picture because they were active in various chat groups in which a large amount of child pornographic material was shared and serious sexual abuse of young children was discussed,” police said. Various specialized units fighting child pornography and child sex tourism collaborated on the case.

This involved the police districts representing The Hague, the Rotterdam region, Zeeland-West Brabant, the eastern district, and Noord-Holland, but outside of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. “Computers and telephones, among other things, were seized for further investigation,” police said.

“The police are seeing a worrying increase in these types of groups on end-to-end encrypted chat applications in which violent material is shared. In addition to images of serious child sexual abuse, images of abuse and torture of children are also sent in these groups,” police stated.

“In addition, they encounter other shocking and degrading images in these groups, such as beheadings of adults and gross abuse of animals.”

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