CHILD PORN RING THOUGHT SECRETS WERE SAFE ON THE NET

Pay close attention to the last 4 paragraphs in this news article.

Sky News (UK)
February 14, 2001
URL to story: http://www.sky.com/news/background/story7.htm

They were members of a global internet fraternity bound together by a
sickening fascination with child pornography, writes Sky News’ Michelle
Clifford.

The members of the Wonderland Club were carefully vetted – and the price
of entry was high. Each had to provide a staggering 10,000 indecent
images of children to join.

The pictures of sexual abuse which they traded are some of the most
degrading and horrific ever seen. They involved children and babies less
than one year old.

Detective Chief Inspector Alex Wood, of the National Crime Squad, helped
co-ordinate Operation Cathedral, to round up the British Wonderland
members. He said: “The images that we recovered – three-quarters of a
million images – are of serious sexual and physical abuse of children as
young as three years old. They are quite horrific, the rape of kids in
nappies, quite horrific.”

‘Elite’

Members of the club – who thought of themselves as the elite amongst
paedophiles – believed the internet gave them anonymity. They were wrong.

After a tip off from US customs, officers from the National Crime Squad
in London began tracking computer contact between members.

Operation Cathedral eventually led to the largest ever international
police operation. Simultaneous raids took place around the world in
September 1998 involving officers from 12 countries.

More than a hundred people were arrested, and the seizure of computer
equipment uncovered a horrific library of paedophilic material.

Prolific

The members of the Wonderland Club had been more prolific than anyone
could have imagined. The police found 750,000 separate images of children
suffering sexual abuse, and almost 2000 computerized videos. Officers
around the world now face the mammoth task of trying to identify all of
the children involved.

Pictures of a thousand victims have been put on a database and sent to
Interpol and police forces all over the world.

Detective Superintendent Peter Spindler, of the NCS, said: “If they think
they know who the child is, they will come to us and we will provide them
with the full paedophilic image – that’s the pornographic image – which
will be far wider, and may have other clues within it.”

Britain led the way in smashing one of the most sophisticated
international paedophile rings. Many of those involved have now been
convicted. But the police know other members of the Wonderland Club have
so far evaded detection and are still at large – free to exploit children.

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