The unnamed suspects are a 40-year-old from Paderborn, a 49-year-old from Munich and a 58-year-old from northern Germany who had been living in Paraguay for a number of years, according to the statement. German authorities have requested his extradition.
The men allegedly advised the website’s 400,000 registered members on how to evade police while using the platform to access illegal images and videos.
A fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, is accused of being one of the platform’s most active users, allegedly uploading upwards of 3,500 posts.
Frankfurt prosecutors said that “Boystown” was “one of the world’s biggest child pornography dark net platforms” and that it has been active since at least 2019.
They added that they discovered “images of most severe sexual abuse of toddlers”, most of them boys, on the site, which were watched and traded by users around the world.
The arrests were made after an international investigation was launched, headed up by a German police task force.
The task force say they cooperated with the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, as well as authorities from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the United States and Canada to investigate the dark web site, searching seven buildings in Germany in connection with it.
Accessing the dark web isn’t illegal, but it does provide access to some illegal activities. It is a portion of the internet that can only be accessed with someone else’s authorisation or by using specific software and is therefore hidden from the average internet user’s view.
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