LOS ANGELES (AFP) – US authorities said they had helped break up an international online child pornography ring using a bulletin board called "Lost Boy" and charged some 20 people in five countries.
The Internet forum was used by some three dozen members trading thousands of "images and videos of child pornography depicting young boys in sexually explicit situations," some of which the members made themselves.
Sixteen of the suspects are in the United States, while the others are in France, Germany, Belgium and New Zealand, according to US justice authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which said they worked with other countries' forces including the Hague-based Eurojust body.
Five have already pleaded guilty in the United States to charges including producing child pornography, conspiracy to transport child pornography and participating in a child exploitation enterprise.
"The Lost Boy case represents a global subculture that exists for the purpose of trading of child pornography and other tools used to sexually exploit children," said assistant FBI director Steven Martinez.
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