VILNIUS – Lithuanian police announced Wednesday it had exposed a large pedophilia network following a wide-scale international operation.
During an operation earlier this month, the Lithuanian police launched 41 criminal investigations into the possession and distribution of child pornography, and conducted 44 raids. A total of 18 suspects, mostly middle-aged Lithuanian men, received criminal charges, the Lithuanian police announced on Wednesday.
The operation in Lithuania was a part of a wide-scale international operation coordinated by Europol, according to Lithuanian police.
The five-day-long operation was preventive, and any victims have been identified so far, according to the country’s police. Special attention is being paid to identify possible child sexual abuse cases, said the Lithuanian police.
Lithuanian police chief Linas Pernavas told a local press conference the investigations against child sexual abuse was a priority for the Lithuanian police.
“We do everything to prevent the distribution of child pornography on the internet,” Pernavas told local press conference.
Pernavas noted that criminal intelligence operations conducted by the police indicate there is “a big interest in child pornography in Lithuania.”
“It is really a huge problem,” Pernavas told journalists.
The police chief said establishing a monitoring center in the country would help identify potential child pornography suspects.