French justice today announced the arrest of a man suspected of running child pornography portals on the darkweb, the hidden part of the internet. Wanted for years and accused of pedophilia, he was found in a rural area of France.
The 40-year-old Frenchman was arrested on 7 July near Bordeaux (west), according to a statement from the Public Ministry. The authorities described him as one of the “ten most wanted people” in the world for international pedophilia on the “darkweb”. He would take an active role in the production of child pornography photos and videos made available to thousands of people.
The man is accused of “organized dissemination” and “detention and recording” of child pornography images, as well as “incestuous rapes committed against a minor by a parent” and “incestuous sexual assault against a minor under 15 by a parent. “, said MP de Bordeaux in the statement. Upon being arrested, he acknowledged the charges and was placed in pre-trial detention.
Family man above suspicion
The authorities were surprised by the suspect’s profile: married, family man and with a stable job, he worked in a local government office. According to Eric Bérot, head of the pressure service for violence (OCRVP in the French acronym), a division of the police that had been looking for him since 2014, he “could be anyone”.
His detention was carried out by French police teams in collaboration with Europol, which has a specialized service in the fight against international child pornography networks on the dark web.
Police said he was arrested in his own home, in the middle of the countryside. “It is surprising. It is not what one imagines when looking for one of the world’s leading animators in the field of child pedophilia on the dark web,” said one of the researchers.