Suspects – said to include retired police officers, civil servants and people in charge of youth football clubs - were arrested across 24 different states and in the capital, Brasilia.
Torquato Jardim, the justice minister, said those detained are suspected of being part of a ring that shared pornographic images of children online.
Investigators said they discovered more than 150,000 files on computers and phones containing disturbing images of teenagers, young children and babies.
They were accessed through the dark web, a part of the internet not reached by most search engines.
As well as sharing the images, police said the criminal gang was also producing pornographic material using children.
The suspects are said to have used various techniques to evade detection, but were arrested follow a six-month investigation involving US and European immigration officials.
Some of the child victims are believed to have been abused by their own parents and carers.
It is not yet clear if the alleged paedophile ring operated only in Brazil or whether it had links to similar groups in other countries.
Brazil was rocked by a huge sex abuse scandal in 2005, said to have involved around ten per cent of the Catholic country’s clergy.
The country ranks poorly for its record of violence and sexual abuse against minors, and high ranking politicians have previously been implicated in sex abuse scandals.
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