Three victims of child abuse put to safety in France

19 November 2020
Press Release
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National expert found clues triggering the case during Europol’s dedicated victim taskforce

French Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale) identified three victims of child abuse and arrested two married offenders. The child of the couple was among the three victims. Social services took the child into their protection while the two other victims remained with their families who were unaware of the abuse.

This case was triggered by analysis during Europol Victim Identification Task Force 7. A national expert analysed a collection of linked child sexual exploitation material from a darknet source. They discovered clues pointing to France as a likely location of the victims depicted in the images as well as of their offender. Europol sent a report with the outcome of the analysis to the French experts in the task force. French investigators examined these images in cooperation with US ICE, Australian Federal Police, Europol and INTERPOL. Investigations at national and local level led to the likely location of the abuse and additional clues enabling the identification of the abuser and one victim. 

A joint operation, coordinated by the French Gendarmerie, was carried out in Aisne and the Lot-et-Garonne area (France) and led to the arrest of the accused married abusers. The officers were able to identify the three victims after the examination of seized digital storage devices. Europol supported the operation with intelligence analysis and on-the-spot technical and forensic expertise. The victims were made safe and their alleged abusers are currently in prison awaiting judgment in January 2021.