108 Arrested in Pedophile Sweep in Brazil

By Aishwarya Rai, International News Editor

On October 21, Brazilian police officers arrested 108 individuals involved in a large network of pedophilic content production and sharing. An operation that initially began to target suspects of sharing illegal pedophile material led to the discovery that pornographic material was also being produced by the suspects.

Over 1,000 officers were involved in the operation, some of which were US and European immigration officials. The operation spanned over six months, and captured suspects from 24 states and the capital, Brasilia, according to BBC. More than 150,000 files were found by accessing the dark web, which is normally not reached by most search engines.

Detainees included retired policemen, civil servants, and individuals running football youth clubs, according to BBC. Some detainees were condemned by their own children and relatives, who revealed information to officers in the operation. Justice Minister Torquato Jardim tells that the detainees managed to keep these files hidden by storing the illegal content “in a computer of someone in another part of the country, or even abroad.” At times, the owners of the devices on which some of this content was stored are completely unaware of this. Content included disturbing images of babies and young children undergoing abuse.

Although the arrests are a big win, given that it is the biggest operation ever against pedophiles in Latin America, the scale of the issue leads to the question of whether there is a pedophile ring that is being run by criminal networks abroad, or just independently in Brazil.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.

Contact Aishwarya at



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