Nearly 100 people in the United States and Australia have been arrested for child sexual abuse allegations, with the possibility of further arrests.
The deaths of two FBI agents led to the discovery of a suspected international pedophile ring, officials said Tuesday.
“An ‘international pedophile ring’ spanning the globe has been exposed, already resulting in nearly 100 arrests in the US and Australia alone. The probe was launched after two FBI agents were tragically killed, which led to unraveling of this evil ring of child abusers,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk said.
“The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has confirm 19 men have been arrested on charges of sharing child abuse material online. At least 13 children were rescued in a joint operation with the FBI, coined ‘Operation Bakis.'”
Full story from NBC: https://t.co/BA9QwADyuU
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 8, 2023
“The development brought the total number of people arrested as part of the joint probe up to 98, with at least 79 arrests so far carried out by the FBI, according to the Australian agency,” NBC News reports.
The FBI and Australian Federal Police addressed the investigation at a press conference.
“Operation Bakis” leads to arrest of 98 people in Australia & the US over child sexual abuse crimes
2021 killings of 2 FBI agents by a child pornographer in Florida led to discovery of international peer-to-peer pedo ring operating on the dark web
Australia rescued +13 children… pic.twitter.com/ZKF4zkj0TG
— Prodigal (@ProdigalThe3rd) August 8, 2023
NBC News shared additional details:
The joint investigation began after the two FBI agents investigating the alleged pedophile ring were fatally shot in 2021 while executing a search warrant in Sunrise, Florida, for a man suspected of being in possession of child abuse material, the agency noted in a news release.
Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were fatally shot and three other agents were wounded, while the gunman, David Lee Huber, 55, was also killed, NBC News previously reported.
The Australian agency said the coordinated probe was formally launched in 2022 after the FBI provided the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation with intelligence about Australian individuals suspected of being part of a “peer-to-peer network allegedly sharing child abuse material on the dark web.”
The Australian suspects are between the ages of 32 to 81 years old, the federal police agency said. So far, two have been sentenced, it said.
Most of the Australian suspects were employed in occupations that required a high degree of knowledge on internet networks, the agency said.
“Members used software to anonymously share files, chat on message boards and access websites within the network,” it said.
Some were also accused of having produced their own child abuse material to share with members of the network, the agency said.
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) August 8, 2023
ABC News (Australia) shared the full press conference: