Europol have joined forces with Romanian Police and law enforcement authorities in Poland in a joint operation that has led to the arrest of a man suspected of online child sexual exploitation.
The investigation uncovered that, between July 2012 and November 2015, the man was distributing child sexual abuse material. The victim was a boy of Polish nationality.
On 16 February, Romanian police conducted a house search of the male in his late 30s in Bucharest. As a result four laptops, three hard drives, five memory sticks, 118 optical data storage devices and three memory cards were seized.
At the request of the Romanian Prosecutor's Office, the suspect is currently detained and judicial proceedings are ongoing.
The importance of international coordination in such cases was emphasised by Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Steven Wilson: "A child victim of sexual exploitation and abuse has been identified through the combined efforts of Romanian and Polish police together with Europol specialists. This activity, identifying children, is at the heart of such investigations and only by working together can we achieve it."
Throughout the entire investigation, Europol provided analytical and on-the-spot support. Europol’s EC3 specialists on victim identification worked with investigators from both countries to discover the identity and location of the victim.
The investigation in Romania was carried out by the Directorate for Combating Organised Crime, coordinated by prosecutors from the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, with specialised support from the Directorate of Special Operations.
The operation in Poland was conducted by the Human Trafficking Department of the National Police Headquarters in close collaboration with the Criminal Department of Regional Headquarters in Lodz.