For more than two years, Interpol has been investigating an active pedophile ring operating across several countries on the dark web. The investigation has earned the named Operation Blackwrist.
Recently, international officials finally made several arrests from the pedophile ring in the United States, Australia, and Thailand. They also rescued over 50 children who were being sexually assaulted, exploited, and trafficked.
Read on to learn more about the international investigation, how it began, and how it’s now been (hopefully) resolved.
The website being targeted by Interpol was an encrypted dark web site, where users keep themselves anonymous. The child pornography site had over 60,000 active users, making it one of the largest known ongoing pedophile sites in existence.
Interpol’s investigation, Operation Blackwrist, began because officials saw explicit images of male minors. The 11 boys were all under 13 years old. As time went on, more and more images and videos were uploaded to the site, garnering thousands of views and active comments.
Although Interpol investigated each one as it was uploaded, the users’ encryption software and their censorship of the victims’ faces and other distinguishing marks made the process more difficult than they would have wanted.
The dark web site’s administrators, who owned and operated the site, were the first to be targeted by the Interpol investigation. Montri Salangam and Ruecha Tokputza, of Thailand and Australia, were detained and arrested last year.
They have been sentenced to 146 years and 40 years in prison, respectively, for their role in facilitating the site and owning and circulating the images. The site has been entirely shut down, and no more images are being uploaded from the same perpetrators.
Now, 50 children who were being trafficked and exploited for the site have been rescued by Interpol. Additionally, nine perpetrators who were active on the site have also been arrested, although their names have not been publicly released. They are from Thailand, Australia, and the United States. The Interpol investigation is ongoing.