In Australia, a massive child sex exploitation ring with connections to the United States , Canada, Asia , Europe and New Zealand has been uncovered by a tip from U.S. authorities, police said on Wednesday.
Of the 16 men arrested in the Australian states of New South Wates, Queensland and Western Australia in recent months on 828 charges of sexually assaulting minors, manufacturing and distributing child abuse content and bestiality, a childcare worker and a children's soccer coach, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said.
Investigators found 46 victims aged 16 months to 15 years in Australia.
"No child, whether a family member, a childcare worker or a soccer coach, should be subjected to abuse and violence from the individuals they trust," Gough said. "Sadly and heartbreakingly, this was the case for the victims in Australia who were raped."
The police referred 18 "matters" to the United States, where three men were investigated for various crimes relating to content related to child violence, Gough said.
Another 128 questions were referred for review to the authorities in Canada, Asia , Europe and New Zealand. On those charges, the police have not elaborated.
In February, the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Abused Children, a government-funded non-profit, provided Australian police with their original tip that a man was uploading child abuse content in New South Wales, Gough said.
A 30-year-old man in Wyong, a city north of Sydney, was arrested by police and a search of his computer uncovered social media sites that he was part of.
The ring used "the standard internet" to share content, Gough said, as well as the dark web.
Gough said, "This is a very, very broad inquiry that we have discovered."
US. U.S. Adam Parks refused to comment on the three arrests in the United States because proceedings were under way. Homeland Security Inquiries attached to Australia In the United States, there were numerous pending inquiries, he said.
Parks didn't specify where the original U.S. tip was. The National Center for Missing and Abused Children came from, but he said those tips usually come from U.S. social media companies reporting on their sites discovering abusive content.
The pedophile ring was described by him as a global network "rooted in Australia."