German police said on Monday that they had shut down “one of the world’s largest child pornography platforms for dark networks” and arrested four of its members in a series of raids in mid-April.
The platform, dubbed “Boystown”, had been in existence since 2019, had over 400,000 members and was “set up for worldwide exchange of child pornography,” federal police said in a statement.
The Darknet forum enabled users to communicate with others and share graphic image and video content that included “serious child sexual abuse,” the statement said.
Three men between the ages of 40 and 64 were arrested in seven raids in Germany, while another suspect was arrested in Paraguay at the request of German authorities.
The suspect in the Paraguayan Concepcion region, including German nationals, is to be extradited back to Germany on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by a court in Frankfurt.
Three of the men are accused of managing the platform as administrators, providing technical support and advice to members on how to avoid being discovered by the authorities, while another was “one of the platform’s most active users”, police said.
Investigators added that the month-long, German-initiated operation had been coordinated by Europol and supported by law enforcement in the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and Canada.
Both “Boystown” and other chat platforms were taken offline after the raids.