Police have broken up an alleged UK-based paedophile ring with the help of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and police officers from around the world.
CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble said that the agency "identified an online area used by individuals with a deviant interest in children".
The investigation is being headed up by CEOP with assistance from the Virtual Global Taskforce, which includes law enforcement agencies in Australia, Canada, the US and the UK.
Gamble said that CEOP's overseas counterparts had managed to infiltrate the ring, which had over 300 members including several key suspects in the UK. A number of arrests have been made.
"We had undercover officers from Canada, America, Australia and the UK involved simultaneously," said Gamble. "Through an eight-hour shift pattern there was a continuous covert investigation trying to infiltrate the group."
Since CEOP was set up in April 2006, its investigations have already led to 27 paedophiles being placed in custody and about 70 children safeguarded from abuse, according to Gamble.
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