An international task force had taken down one of the largest dark web child sex abuse sites on the internet, and that four people had been arrested in connection.
The site known as "Boystown" centered on child sexual abuse. It had been active on the dark web since at least June 2019 and had over 400,000 users before being taken down last month. It was unclear how many of those users were still involved on the site.
The operation was brought to an end by an international task force led by the German Federal Criminal Police, known as the Bundeskriminalamt, according to a statement from the agency.
German police said the site allowed members to easily retrieve and share child porn content in multiple text and voice chat areas, and the internationally-oriented page had numerous language channels that aided communication between members.
"The image and video recordings shared included recordings of the most serious sexual abuse of young children," said the Bundeskriminalamt.
The website is no longer accessible. A number of unspecified related chat sites were also taken down.
Law enforcement authorities from the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. were involved in the investigation.
The prosecutor's statement said the three key suspects were a 40-year-old man from Paderborn, a 49-year-old man from Munich, and a 58-year-old man from northern Germany who had been living in Paraguay for several years. They acted as site managers, advising users about how to avoid law enforcement by using the website for illegal child pornography.
A fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, is accused of being one of the platform's most prolific users, having reportedly posted over 3,500 posts.
Germany has demanded that the suspect detained in Paraguay be extradited.
In accordance with German privacy laws, no names were given.