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German police arrest 4 in connection to massive underground child pornography website

German police arrest 4 in connection to massive underground child pornography website
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German police have arrested four men who they say are connected to one of the largest underground child pornography websites in the world, multiple news outlets have reported.

Prosecutors said they arrested three suspects who are accused of operating and maintaining the platform with more than 400,000 users that has operated since 2019.

A fourth man was arrested by police on the suspicion of being a registered member on the platform and posting over more than 3,500 pieces of content on the site, according to Reuters

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The raids were done on seven properties in mid-April, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AP, authorities had investigated the platform for months while working with law enforcement authorities from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the U.S.

Officials said the website was used in the worldwide exchange of child porn. Registered users were able to retrieve and exchange content with each other in chat rooms and voice channels, according to Reuters.

The Frankfurt public prosecutor's office and BKA Federal Police said in a statement that the site was only accessible on the so-called darknet.

According to Reuters, the suspects are 40-, 49-, 58- and 64-year-old men.

Police said the website has since been taken down following the raids, according to Reuters.