|Sex Files||Dec 13 2008|
U.S. and E.U. authorities reported yesterday that more than 170 people around the world, including 61 in the United States, have been arrested in a major sting targeting international child pornographers. The operation, called Joint Hammer in the U.S., and Koala in Europe, freed girls who were sexually abused by child pornographers.
The investigation was launched after investigators determined a videotape of child porn found in Australia had been produced in Belgium. A joint EU-U.S. effort exposed a Belgian father who was sexually abusing his young daughters, and employing an Italian photographer to produce images of the abuse. So far 11 children were freed in the U.S., and dozens more were rescued in Europe.
Officials said ringleaders primarily targeted prepubescent females, but added that other groups produce photos and videos of boys and girls of all ages, including infants. Agents are still attempting to locate many victims whose images appeared in photos and videos and more arrests are expected as the investigation continues.