One held in Ireland as part of Europol inquiry into online child sex abuse

Sat, Dec 17, 2011, 00:00

ONE PERSON was arrested in Ireland yesterday as part of an investigation by the European police agency Europol into online child sex abuse.

The operation has led to the arrests of 112 people and the identification of 269 suspects in 22 countries since the beginning of the year.

It targeted individuals sharing “the most extreme forms of video material, which included babies and toddlers being sexually abused and raped”, according to Europol.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Icarus, which was initiated at the start of this year and involved law enforcement agencies from 26 countries, supported and co-ordinated by Europol.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said the operation had uncovered previously unknown networks of child sex offenders operating on internet channels.

“This operation shows how the internet is helping offenders to develop better techniques for sharing images on a global basis and for protecting their identity.

“The problems involved are becoming harder to police and call for sustained efforts by policy-makers and law enforcement agencies to ensure that society’s response remains strong and agile in this area,” he said.

More arrests are expected.

Ireland is one of 12 national members of the Cospol Internet Related Child Abusive Material Project, an initiative by EU police chiefs led by Belgium and funded by the European Commission.