Spanish police have arrested 24 people for sharing child pornography on Facebook including a mother and son who allegedly worked together to post the vile images online.
The arrests were made across 13 Spanish provinces and the among the suspects were a 14-year-old boy and a mother and son.
According to police sources in a press statement, the cooperation of the Facebook was fundamental in the arrest of the suspects, as Facebook contacted the Central Unit of Cyber Crime of the National Police about the existence of people sharing child pornography on the platform.
The arrests were made in different parts of Spain. Six of them in Madrid, four in Asturias (northern Spain), four in Barcelona, one in Badajoz (western Spain), one in Alicante (eastern Spain), one in Cantabria (northern Spain), one in Castellon (eastern Spain), one in Cordoba (southern Spain), one in Granada (southern Spain), one in Malaga (southern Spain), one in Navarra (southern Spain), one in Salamanca (central Spain) and one in Lerida (eastern Spain).
Four of the suspects who were arrested are minors, the youngest being 14 years old. Two of the suspects were mother and son, the mother was the alleged culprit of the crime while her son helped her to share the content as she did not have the technological knowledge.
Furthermore, several houses were checked by officers who found a huge amount of material and evidence, as well as video and pictures of minors being sexually abused.
Sources told Central European News (CEN) that seven tablets, six external hard drives, 13 internal hard drive, 33 mobile phones, 12 USB sticks, 11 memory cards and 14 laptops were seized in the 20-month operation.
In Alicante, in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia, a 28-year-old man was arrested as he reportedly had thousands of files of paedophile content, classified according to the sexual behaviour seen in the footage. He also is reported to have created his own child pornography, putting pictures of his underage relatives in the files.
In Asturias, four people were arrested. One of them is a 39-year-old Colombian woman who allegedly shared paedophile content with the help of her 19-year-old son, who was also arrested. The son is said to have given her technical support as she did not have the proper computing knowledge to share the content. He was reportedly aware of his mother’s crime.
Another four people were arrested in Barcelona, among them a 47-year-old man who, as well as using a Facebook profile, used a messaging application to share paedophile content with people he trusted, according to reports.
In the same city, a 61-year-old Mexican male citizen who pretended to be a girl so that other paedophiles sent her pictures linked with pornography was also arrested.
In Badajoz, in the western Spanish region of Extremadura, an 18-year-old student who managed to enter into closed groups of paedophiles, and who protected his activity with advanced security measures so that officers could not detect him, was also arrested.
The man who was arrested in Cantabria, northern Spain, did not have a lot of IT knowledge. He is reported to have used an external hard drive to keep pornographic material that he downloaded and then kept in hidden folders under fake names.
In Castellon, in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia, a 45-year-old man was arrested who reportedly used powerful hardware to hack Wi-Fi connections he used to surf on a network giving him anonymity.
In Cordoba, a man who allegedly sent child pornography to a woman living in a nearby town without her consent in exchange for pictures of her eight-year-old son was also arrested.
In Granada, the man who was arrested in the police operation is said to have sent an underage girl living in Mexico several videos and pictures with paedophile content with the intention of forcing her to send him intimate pictures.
Another six people were arrested in Madrid, among them a man who allegedly kept all the paedophile material he had on a ‘cloud’ service. The officers found evidence of him sharing the content through a messenger application, as well as doing it on Facebook.
Another two suspects are said to have used several profiles after their profiles were deleted on Facebook as their illicit activities had been detected.
One of them was arrested twice, as the officers noticed he had created new profiles after being arrested for the first time in Madrid before being released.