The website called Boystown that operated on the Dark Web was under investigation for months before police forces proceeded to arrest three subjects accused of running it. It had more than 400,000 users worldwide. One of the suspects, also a German, was arrested in Paraguay.
The Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office reported that together with the Federal Criminal Police Office, three German suspects were arrested in mid-April, apparently, administrators of the “Boystown” platform, one of them was arrested in the South American country.
They also searched seven buildings in Germany in connection with the pornography network.
The prosecution requested the extradition of the German member arrested in Paraguay.
A fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, allegedly uploaded at least 35,000 images and videos of children and babies being sexually abused and was the most prolific user.
Authorities said Boystown was “one of the largest child pornography platforms in the world” and had been active since at least 2019.
Pedophiles used it to exchange and view pornography of children and young people, most of them boys, from all over the world.
Prosecutors say they found “images of the most serious sexual abuse of young children” on the website.
Police explained that the site was designed to enable the international exchange of child abuse material by its members, focusing primarily on the abuse of young children.
The successful operation was a joint action by German police with the cooperation of Dutch, Swedish, Australian, Canadian, and American investigators.
The three suspects are 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 many years.
They worked as administrators of the site and gave users tips on how to evade law enforcement when using the platform.
Users could also talk to each other via chat and voice messages within the website.
Following the arrests, the platform was taken down.
What is the dark web
According to Investopedia, the dark web is part of the larger deep web, a network of secret websites that exist in an encrypted network.
The dark web is part of the deep web but refers specifically to websites that are used specifically for nefarious purposes. Dark web sites are purposefully hidden from the surface network by additional means. The dark web facilitates black markets, activities such as illegal file sharing, and the exchange of illegal goods or services, including stolen financial and private data. To hide exchanges in this hidden economy, bitcoin is often used as a currency.