Almost 250 people suspected of sharing child pornography have been arrested in Taiwan and China. Last week, 45 suspects were taken into custody in Taiwan and computers were seized in what was called the island's biggest child pornography crackdown ever. Targeting more than 50 locations in an operation codenamed “Angel Action,” it has now been reported that a further 184 suspects have been arrested by authorities in mainland China along with 19 in Hong Kong and one in Macao.
Those arrested are suspected of exchanging images and videos of children being sexually exploited over two U.S. registered websites. One of the Taiwanese suspects caught in the raid allegedly took part in the sexually abusive videos that were shared on the websites. Authorities have identified the victims and assigned social workers to offer assistance.
The websites were discovered last year by Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, following a tip from ECPAT Taiwan. ECPAT Taiwan reports that the websites have been in existence since 2007, however, their constantly changing URLs and encrypted content made further investigation difficult. It is shocking to note that each website attracted over a million paid members. In 2012, ECPAT Taiwan consulted with the FBI about the case that initiated the cooperation of law enforcements in Taiwan, US, and China. Law enforcement in China and Taiwan worked together to identify the offenders through their IP addresses.