German police shut down darknet child-porn site with 400,000 users worldwide

Photo “Running German Police” by JayPLee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

GERMANY – Police in Germany police raided one of the world’s largest child-porn platforms, a darknet site called ‘Boystown’, and arrested several people believed to have run the site, which had 400,000 users.

The investigation was months-long and was coordinated by Europol. Law enforcement officials in Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.S. also helped with the investigation, according to German police.

Frankfurt prosecutors and the Federal Criminal Police Office announced the shutdown on Monday.

Police said it was one of the world’s biggest child pornography darknet platforms,” which has been active since at least June 2019. During the police raid they took down several other chat platforms dedicated to sharing child pornography. Pedophiles used it to watch and share pornography of children and toddlers, most of them boys, from all over the world.

A 40-year-old man from Paderborn and a 49-year-old man from Munich, were arrested. Another suspect, a 58-year-old man from northern Germany, was arrested in Paraguay where he has lived for years and Germany has requested his extradition.

Police detained a fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, who is believed to be one of the platform’s most active users and allegedly uploaded over 3,500 posts of highly illegal content.

Pornographic images – including what police described as “most severe sexual abuse of toddlers,” was seized during the raids.

“This investigative success has a clear message, ‘Those who assault the weakest aren’t safe anywhere,’” said Horst Seehofer, German Interior Minister. ”That’s what investigators work for day and night, online and offline, globally.”