There were searches in Aachen, Bochum, Bonn, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Eschweiler, Herzogenrath, Höxter, Cologne, Krefeld, Leichlingen, Monheim am Rhein, Siegen and Wuppertal (symbol picture).
During the searches of 54 objects, 440 data carriers have so far been seized. The nationwide deployment has now been completed.
EInvestigators searched the premises of 73 suspects in North Rhine-Westphalia on suspicion of possession and distribution of child pornography. The nationwide operation had already started on February 25, as the public prosecutor in Cologne announced on Thursday. In the meantime it has ended. 54 objects have been searched and so far 440 data carriers have been secured. Individual accused have already confessed. Arrest warrants were not carried out.
“The search measures are all directed against suspects who are said to have obtained child pornographic content for themselves or others, primarily via social networks,” the investigators explained. There were searches in Aachen, Bochum, Bonn, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Eschweiler, Herzogenrath, Höxter, Cologne, Krefeld, Leichlingen, Monheim am Rhein, Siegen and Wuppertal. It was arranged by the central and contact point Cybercrime North Rhine-Westphalia (ZAC NRW) based in Cologne.
According to the investigators, the starting point for the procedure was mainly information from the American Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The organization receives reports on crimes against children and forwards them to the responsible authorities. The investigation group “Berg” from Cologne and the investigation commission “Rose” from Münster were therefore not in the background. Both units are busy clearing up large abuse complexes in North Rhine-Westphalia: Bergisch Gladbach and Münster.
North Rhine-Westphalia has been shaken by several cases of abuse in recent years. The places Lügde, Bergisch Gladbach and Münster have meanwhile burned themselves into the collective memory. In raids, gigantic amounts of data with images of serious child sexual abuse have already been seized.