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Seventy People Arrested in Australian Child Pornography Ring

The largest child pornography investigation in history has resulted in the arrest of over 70 people in Australia. The arrests were the culmination of a six-month investigation that spanned 170 countries. If that number doesn't blow your mind, consider this: the people arrested ranged in age from 19 to 81, and were from all walks of life, including a teacher, a youth worker, and a police officer.

The investigation was dubbed Operation Centurion, and collected information from a website containing downloadable pornographic images of children ranging from 18 year-olds to — get this — infants, being physically and sexually abused. No one is entirely certain where these images originated or the identities of the children in the photos.

During a 76-hour period of monitoring the site, it logged over 12 million hits, with 2,800 hits originating from Australia. The Australian Federal Police Commissioner said of this sting: “The AFP will not tolerate any form of child abuse in Australia or anywhere in the world and will continue to work with local and overseas counterparts to arrest those behind child exploitation.”

Though the arrests are a victory, the police sadly don't know if the children in the photos are still being abused.


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
HF - Thanks for sticking up for me while I was away. I appreciate it. My humor is hard to get, and sometimes misfires. If I insult anyone else in the process, I'm sorry.
CesyBabe CesyBabe 9 years
This story was on the 6 O'clock news here in New Zealand- I believe some one associated with the ring was taken to hospital after he self harmed, after a news agency went to his house. Believe it may have been the teacher. but its just sickening. Also a good Australian crime story- a top cop in charge of busting drug rings was arrested at his desk fo you guessed it- importing large amounts of drugs.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Jazz I understand. This is a horrible horrible crime. I also totally understand about being passionate and sensitive about a topic. The thing I'm probably most sensitive about on this site is the treatment of Military members and veterans. I just didn't want UD to feel bad and I felt like I needed to stick up for him. I totally respect your feelings for this matter and hope that I didn't come off too harsh. :)
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
you know what sickens me the most is what these bastards have gotten away with over the years, if abuse and torture gets an 81 year old off, god knows what he has done before the internet was invented.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
HF, I guess just like you're a little sensitive about Hillary Clinton, I am pretty sensitive about this issue. I don't believe UD condones child pornography and have really appreciated his input on this site. On hindsite I could have made my point without mention, but I was pretty shaken at the time. I'm sorry UD.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Jazz...I'm sure that UD does not condone child pornography. Sometimes a topic makes us feel so hopeless and so sad that we have to add a little levity. I don't think he deserved the remarks and bringing his child into it was a low blow IMO.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
I work in a library in MA and in our neighboring town of New Bedford, a six year old boy was raped in the library stacks while his mother worked on a computer no more than twenty feet away. Most of you probably already heard this story because I believe it made national news. Anyway, it obviously made us think about how we do things in our library. Parents were asking what we could do to step up security and what not because the man who committed the act was a sex offender who had already served time for child abuse. I've never heard of a sex offender magically getting better. Don't they have the highest repeat offender rates of any other crime? While this was happening, a co worker and I had a conversation about what the punishment should be because obviously these people cannot be allowed in public again. We agreed that the punishment should be genital removal. If you are going to hurt a child with your genitals, then you should not be allowed to have any.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Child pornography is rampant, and it is very difficult because it is spanning so many countries and exchanged so anonymously. When the children are in countries with lax child protections laws, and the images are distributed everywhere, it is very hard to say where that child is even with the photos of the crime. Pedos are a very strange subset of criminal that likes to document, collect, and share their crime. The internet has given people of like interests a community that reinforces their beliefs - and like the pro eating disorder sites, it can be dangerous when child molesters find each other and reinforce their desires. NCMEC ( works very hard to identify children in images that law enforcement submits, and there are some cases where it can be done. This is such a daunting task, but so great that there are people working so hard in this area. It aids both prosecution of the people with the images (proves it is a real child) and it aids the children that are still out there. Ultimately, I work under the concept that people want the porn because they want to touch. Men with pictures of naked women want to touch naked women. People with pictures of children being abused want to abuse. Period. A lot of people have said that the sentencing for 'just pictures' is too drastic - AZ give 10 to 24 years per picture. People that have a dozen images are getting over a hundred years if they take the case to trial and lose. People that enjoy watching the sexual torture of children need to go to prison. For a long time. Period.
msmoney23 msmoney23 9 years
Disgusting people, absolutely sickening.
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
This is so horrible!
dmpls83 dmpls83 9 years
ugh. this is really disturbing. it made me take the pics. of my 9-month old off of myspace. and yes, it's sick to think about it, but i bet a lot of those babies are still being abused.. :cry:
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Good. Throw away the key.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It makes me sick that there is virtually no way to identify and save the children involved. I think it's safe to say that they are in fact still being abused. Like mini-pixie, I knew a guy who was busted - actually imprisoned for a few years - for downloading large bundles of porn that ended up having some child pornography in them. He was caught in one of these big sweeps as well. I have to think that those kinds of stories are the minority, though.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
this sickens me. they need to be eradicated.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I agree Tia. I wish we could SAVE the children and get the monsters who are really doing those horrendous things to them and get the monsters who start these sick websites in the first place to make money. :irk:
tiabia tiabia 9 years
Despicable. I am glad that people have been arrested, but the fact that there is little or no information on the children that are being abused makes this case completely unfinished. Especially since it appears that the people who were arrested were merely the operators of this horrendous website and not the ones actually inflicting the abuse on the children (unless I read something wrong).
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I love Law and Order, except for Criminal Intent. I really don't like the actors in that one. I am so disgusted by this, there are just no words.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
There really should be special, harsher laws for child abusers, although once they are put in prison they don't seem to live for very long. I guess being punished by the state is probably less harsh than what their prison mates do to them.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
lol. :P UnDave. I wish I could overcome my Law & Order addiction, but the entire dish network is my enabler. There is never a time I can't find an episode of law & order.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
It's too bad a lot of what happens in the Law & Order series can't happen in real life. Things like wrapping up a murder investigation and prosecution in less than an hour.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
I know a guy who got into some trouble because while downloading "regular" porn from peer-to-peer networking sites, he'd pick up these zip files with oodles of images in them, and some turned out to be really bad. So I know that not all the people who have images like this were intentionally looking for that kind of thing (he deleted his as soon as he came across them). However, anyone going to a site where this is the objective deserves whatever punishment they get.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
UnDave ~ I see you have children of your own which made it a bit startling when the only comment that came to mind is to make a joke. Not only are the children's lives being destroyed but society in general is at risk. The people becoming addicted to this type of pornography are not only ruining their lives and the lives of those around them but are in danger of becoming serial killers. It is great Austrailia is being so proactive.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
The worst part of the story is that there's no way for the police to find the children in the pictures... so God knows what's happened since the photos were taken. I saw a Law & Order: SVU about a story similar to this one... unrealistically, they were able to find the child in the pictures. Too bad it doesn't work that way in the real world.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I wonder what gets into people to make them do such horrific things.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
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