The National Bureau of Investigation NBI says five Finnish men are involved in an international pedophile ring which produced and took part in violent child pornography and streamed it to viewers overseas.
The case involves six boys aged six to 15, with 70 offenses being looked at. Many of the events happened in one small municipality, where the boys may have known each other, with the investigation covering a period from 2004 to 2018.
Commissioner Sanna Springare of the NBI says there is a main suspect who is believed to be the ringleader.
“According to the preliminary investigation, all suspects have been linked to the main suspect who has organized a large number of events and networked widely in Finland and abroad as well” says Springare.
All victims and suspects are Finns, and it is thought the boys’ parents trusted some of the people accused of abusing them. In order to protect the identity of the victims, the National Bureau of Investigation is not saying exactly where the municipality is located.
Drugs involved in organized activities
The investigation is roughly divided into two parts as some of the suspects are accused of child abuse but all have brought, shared or received child abuse material.
Police are accusing the men of child sexual abuse; rape; spreading sexually abusive images of children including streaming videos of abuse on the internet; possession of child pornography and drug offenses, among other possible charges.
“It is a group activity. One could even talk of organized crimes. The main suspect has acted as an organizer and guide in many events and has attracted like-minded people to become involved in these things” says Springare.
The police found that some of the victims were given methamphetamines while the sexual abuse was taking place.
Violence involved in the abuse
The police investigation began in the autumn of 2017, when they received a tip from authorities abroad.
As a result of that information, law enforcement officers launched a pre-trial investigation and made several searches, detaining some of the suspects including the ring leader who was held for a year at one point.
“The first searches were made on the property of a person who was later exposed as the so-called ‘main suspect’” says Sanna Springare.
Authorities in 17 countries where the videos of abuse were streamed have been alerted to the Now a total of 17 countries have carried out prosecutions in relation to the international pedophile ring, and large quantities of abusive material have been imported to Finland.
Police have seized a total of 100 terabytes of material in digital form as part of their investigation which contains particularly brutal violence, where the victims are mainly young boys. Some of the videos show the Finnish victims, but other victims of abuse are also shown in videos and picture.