According to the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden on Monday,
three Germans between the ages of 40 and 58 are said to have operated
the platform. Already in mid-April, the homes of two of the men near
Paderborn and Munich were searched. Both men were arrested, they sit
since then in custody. The third suspected operator has been living in
Paraguay for several years, where he is to be arrested on an
international arrest warrant and extradited to Frankfurt. In addition, a
fourth, 64-year-old man was arrested in Hamburg, who is said to have
used the platform on a large scale and was in intensive exchange with
the administrators. “We assume that we could make the authoritative
masterminds dingfest” so the police.
The suspects had rented a server in Moldova for the illegal platform,
which was accessed from all over the world. The investigators were able
to seize this server and found child pornographic material with a total
volume of several terabytes. The investigators evaluated these now, in
order to be able to determine if necessary the places, at which the
material was taken. This is an attempt to put an end to current child abuse.
Child pornography is produced all over the world, including in Germany:
“The abuse is among us.” In 2020, more than 16,000 children were
recorded by the police in Germany as victims of sexual abuse; experts
believe the number of unreported cases is far higher.
Together with the material, the database with the users of “Boystown”
was also seized. The investigators now want to use this to get to the
perpetrators who distribute or consume child pornography. This is
proving difficult, however, because the database does not contain any
clear names or IP addresses of the individuals, as the site was located
on the darknet.
That there will be no wave of arrests of 400,000 people, that must be
said clearly”, said Julia Bussweiler, investigating prosecutor at the
Frankfurt Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT). She is
optimistic, however, because chat histories were also seized along with
the server. In these, the perpetrators might have revealed personal
information about themselves. In addition, she emphasized the signal
effect that the dismantling of a central platform would have among
consumers of child pornography. She said it was to be expected that the
exchange of corresponding images and videos would shift to other sites
or even other channels – such as messenger apps like Signal.
the fight is far from over