Switzerland police said Tuesday that a multi-year operation helped identify 2,200 child sex offenders and worldwide users of child pornography.
The operation, nicknamed “Ninja Turtle,” started in 2012 when an individual living in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau used that pseudonym to distribute child pornography.
Authorities arrested the individual behind the pseudonym but kept the profile active to unmask other pedophiles.
Investigators reportedly were able to track down offenders in multiple countries.
NEW: Swiss police said Tuesday that a secret operation using the profile of a convicted paedophile had allowed them to identify over 2,200 child sex offenders and users of child pornography worldwidehttps://t.co/YyyxDcXrMG
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) May 30, 2023
Swiss police use paedophile profile to snare 2,200 people online https://t.co/LM2lQ1EFJE
— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) May 30, 2023
Swiss Info reported:
Suspected perpetrators in Switzerland and around the world have been reported to the relevant authorities, the Aargau cantonal police said on Tuesday. The 2,200 people identified are consumers of child sex abuse material and perpetrators who abuse children themselves. Arrests have been made in Switzerland, France, Romania, Croatia, Spain, Peru and Brazil.
The Swiss police used the online profile of a convicted child sex offender based in canton Aargau to identify other perpetrators of the crime. The convicted criminal operated under the pseudonym “Ninja Turtle” on GigaTribe, a platform that enables data to be exchanged anonymously.
“The fight against pedophile crime on the Internet is resource-intensive and requires close cooperation both at the official level and with the website operators. As the operation “Ninja Turtle” shows, however, this effort to protect potential victims is worthwhile,” said the Aargau cantonal police in a statement on Tuesday.
Insider Paper noted:
Police tracked down the person hiding behind the pseudonym — a 62-year-old German man — who was convicted in 2015.
But once he had been caught, investigators continued to use his profile to unmask other paedophiles and users of illegal child sex images.
“The multi-year covert operation on the internet was a success: 2,200 pedo-criminals were unmasked,” the police statement said.