German police busted a child sex trafficking website known as “Boystown”. The illicit website with over 400,000 users was shut down after months of investigation.
A large-scale investigation resulted in multiple arrests in mid-April. Authorities in Germany were able to shut down one of the world’s largest child sex trafficking platforms, a police statement announced on Monday.
The website “Boystown” has been operating since at least June 2019 and has over 400,000 users. It could only be accessed via the darknet.
Four German nationals, aged 40 to 64, were arrested in connection with the investigation, three on suspicion of serving as website administrators – one of the two was arrested in Paraguay. Another individual was apprehended on suspicion of being a registered participant and the platform’s most prolific person, with over 3,500 posts.
About the investigation
The inquiry lasted several months and was headed by a German task force that collaborated with Europol and officials from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the United States, and Canada.
The website allowed users to post videos of minors being abused, including “of the most serious sexual abuse of young children,” according to a statement from Germany’s federal investigating police force (the BKA).
Users had access to a variety of contact platforms through the website. Platform administrators have advised members on how to use the network safely to prevent surveillance and possible criminal charges.
The suspects were apprehended after police raided their houses. Three men were arrested in Germany. A fourth man, one of the three site operators, was arrested in Paraguay.
Following the raids, police were able to shut down “Boystown” and several other messaging sites.
It is challenging to locate the platform’s users.
Even though police were able to penetrate the network and track down the operators, investigators believe it is unlikely that prosecutors would trace many of the platform’s participants.