Swedish sports star seized in child porn raid

A Swedish champion from "a major spectator sport" has been arrested on suspicion of distributing child pornography on the Internet. He was one of 14 suspected paedophiles caught in a nationwide raid early on Tuesday morning.

While the tabloids dropped tantalising hints as to his identity – he has won “many titles, including Swedish gold” and has worked with youngsters in the sport – the man denied the charges.

“I consider myself to be innocent,” he said, according to Aftonbladet.

Police who raided his Stockholm apartment say they seized several computers. The effort was coordinated by the National Criminal Investigation Department’s (NCID) child pornography unit and has been planned for months.

“We are very satisfied with the results so far and the cooperation with our colleagues around the country has worked remarkably well,” said NCID detective Anethe Ahlenius.

She told Svenska Dagbladet that despite the department’s limited resources – just four police officers and two civilian staff – they had been able to strike against suspects from Skåne in the south of Sweden to Norrbotten in the north.

The investigators tracked down the suspects primarily through their credit card details, which had been used in online transactions. Ahlenius said more people could still be arrested.

“It’s certain that many are involved in the network,” she said. “It’s too early to say exactly what the conclusion of this will be.”

The sports star was not the only high profile individual netted in the dawn raid. An ombudsman from one of Sweden’s unions – also unnamed – was nabbed and his computers were seized.

“He says that he had the child pornography by mistake,” said one of the officers involved.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet