Swedes seized in international paedophile raid

Police in 13 EU countries and the US raided around 150 homes on Wednesday morning in a strike against an international online paedophile network. Around ten people were taken into custody, including three in Sweden.

“There are two men, one in Skåne and one in Västmanland, who, after interviews, are suspected of breaking child pornography laws,” said Stefan Kronqvist, head of the police’s IT crimes unit.

Local police authorities confiscated a number of computers during the raids, said Kronqvist.

He added that the suspects are both aged 25-30 and that they have not yet been charged. They are suspected of possession of child pornography, not distribution or production, Kronqvist told TT.

Police are expecting to find links to new suspects when they begin analysing the confiscated equipment, in the form of email addresses and IP addresses. Kronqvist did not rule out further arrests in Sweden.

As well as Sweden and the US, raids were carried out in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Holland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary and Austria.

The operation, codenamed Baleno, was coordinated by the European police organisation Europol in the Hague, the FBI and Interpol.

The investigation was started by the Dutch authorities and information was gathered from a total of 76 countries around the world.

“Our contribution was small. Sweden has not played a leading role in this,” said Kronqvist.

According to Europol, the network used advanced technology to spread pornography, including time-limited encryption to protect the electronic identities of the sender and recipient.