DA 42-year-old suspect showed unequivocally that there is a lot at stake for him: He threw his computer out of the bathroom window when the police arrived. In the case of another suspect, of whom the officials knew that he is a marksman and legally owns three handguns, forces from the special task force were directly involved in the search, and the operation ran smoothly. In the apartment of another suspect, the investigators came across a computer weighing 40 kilograms, water-cooled, a professional device like from the data center. And at the airport in Munich, the police received a 34-year-old man who had just returned from a trip.
The “wake-up call” operation, the second large-scale “day of action” by the Bavarian police to combat child pornography, was a success from the investigators’ point of view: 50 objects were searched throughout Bavaria on Tuesday, with the focus on 55 suspects aged 18 up to 73 years. The campaign was coordinated by the “Center for Combating Child Pornography and Sexual Abuse on the Internet” (ZKI), which is attached to the Attorney General’s Office in Bamberg, together with the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office. Many of the suspects are accused of having obtained videos from a file-sharing provider on Clearnet, i.e. the publicly accessible Internet.
What can be seen on these videos stunned the investigators. The public prosecutors had to be given a special warning before they viewed the videos, senior public prosecutor Thomas Goger, head of the ZKI, reported at a press conference on Wednesday. It is about the “hardest child pornographic material”: recordings of the most severe sexual violence that the perpetrators act out on infants and small children.
An instrument is denied to the prosecutors
The Bavarian Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich (CSU) and the Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) also condemned the acts in the strongest possible terms on Wednesday. They emphasize what is effective in the fight against pedophile criminals: On the one hand, powerful special units such as the ZKI, which is supported by IT forensic scientists and works closely with the LKA, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the authorities abroad. On the other hand, the expansion of prevention, for example programs such as “Don’t become a perpetrator”: These offers are intended to help pedophiles to control their sexual inclination so that they do not commit any crimes. The need for action is great: According to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, the number of crimes in connection with child pornography in the police crime statistics in 2021 “almost doubled” compared to the previous year, according to initial evaluations.
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