Within 10 days of the discovery of the videos online, a 30-year old individual was arrested by the Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) as a result of an international police effort to track down this man who produced child sexual abuse material.
The videos, which were released and offered for sale on the dark web, showed the suspect violently sexually abusing a pre-school aged girl. Analysis of these videos by the Italian State Police identified the location of the abuse in a region of northern Italy. Europol was quick to prioritise this case and dedicated several staff members to it.
Valuable information was provided by partner law enforcement agencies across the world including Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Canada. Victim identification specialists from these countries worked together with Europol to help identify the victim and offender through image and video examination to get information as quickly as possible to the Italian investigators.
Combining that information with open source information and intelligence from Europol, the Italian State Police identified the home of the 30-year old. Working together with the field office of the State Postal and Communications Police (Servizio Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni-CNCPO), they carried out a thorough search of the suspect’s home. Evidence, including items from the abuse videos were found with thousands of images and videos of sexual exploitation of minors. The victim was identified and made safe and the suspect was arrested and awaits trial.