A two-year international operation coordinated by INTERPOL has led to the rescue of 50 children, as well as the arrest and prosecution of child sex offenders in Thailand, Australia and the United States.
Operation Blackwrist, named after a bracelet, worn by one of the offenders, was launched by INTERPOL in 2017 following the discovery of material depicting the abuse of 11 boys, all under 13 years old.
Nine people have been arrested in Thailand, Australia and the US in connection with an online pedophilia network. Fifty children were rescued in the international operation.
The website’s main administrator, based in Thailand, was identified as Montri Salangam. He was the man seen abusing the 11 boys, one of whom was his nephew. The children had been lured to Salangam’s home with meals, internet access and football games.
A second administrator, Ruecha Tokputza, was based in Australia. Police found thousands of images taken in both Thailand and Australia on his seized devices, some of which featured Tokputza as the main abuser. The youngest identified during the recent South Australian court proceedings was just 15 months old.
More arrests are expected, with referrals being examined in nearly 60 countries.
Police say the perpetrators often masked the children’s faces, with little audio on the videos that could serve as clues for police. Although police have removed 50 victims from harm, they believe an additional 100 more children have suffered abuse, and are currently working to identify those victims.