German-wide raids on child pornography research

The German police raided yesterday throughout the country in connection with a major abuse case in the town of Bergisch Gladbach (North Rhine-Westphalia), which the police tracked down last year.

The 43-year-old prime suspect in that case is suspected of having abused his daughter of three. He had to appear in court last month.

Yesterday’s action involved about a thousand police officers in twelve of the sixteen German states, the police announced today. They seized 2,000 pieces of evidence from 50 suspects, mainly hard drives, telephones and other data carriers. Two safes were also taken. The investigators expect to spend a long time analysing all the information.

200 suspects in total

Four people were injured during the raids, presumably because suspects were resisting the search of their house. Most searches were in Bavaria. There the police raided fifteen buildings of thirteen suspects. They are suspected of possession and distribution of child pornography. According to the investigator, there is no evidence that they themselves produced child pornography.

The police say that an online messaging service cooperated favourably with the investigation, but the investigator did not want to say which service was involved.

The investigation has now led to 200 suspects. So far, ten people have been charged. “Behind every photo is a victim of sexual abuse,” said the investigator. “We will never give up the fight against these paedophile criminals.”