A global operation spanning 38 countries has seen the arrest of more than 330 suspected pedophiles.
The international operation, launched following the conviction of a Cambridge academic for sickening pedophile offences, has resulted in bringing down a large network of perverts who were allegedly sharing child abuse videos and images on the dark web
The Telegraph reports: The probe came in the wake of the conviction last year of Dr Matthew Falder, 29, who was jailed for 32-years for conducting a campaign of appalling web based abuse against a string of vulnerable victims.
Falder, who had a masters and a PhD from Cambridge University, admitted blackmailing scores of men, women and children into carrying out humiliating and degrading acts, which included encouraging the rape of a child.
Labelled as ‘hurtcore’, Falder duped his targets into sending naked images of themselves and then blackmailed them into carrying out a series of depraved activities across the web.
Falder, who worked as an academic at Birmingham University, contacted more than 300 potential victims, but by operating on the dark web, he managed to evade capture for eight years.
Following his capture an international taskforce began investigating the dark web platform he had been using and on Wednesday announced that a total of 337 suspects had been arrested in 38 countries.
The Welcome To Video site, which was run from South Korea – contained more than 250,000 horrific videos and users had made more than one million downloads, with some paedophiles using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency to pay for the abuse images.
In the UK seven men have already been convicted in connection with the network with one man jailed for 22 years for raping a five-year-old boy and appearing on Welcome To Video sexually abusing a three-year-old girl.
British investigators travelled to South Korea to help track down Jong Woo Son, the 23-year-old who was allegedly running the site.
Yesterday Mr Son was charged with nine counts in the United States relating to him running the website.
He has already been convicted and jailed in his home country.
Nikki Holland, NCA Director of Investigations, said: “Dark web child sex offenders – some of whom are the very worst offenders – cannot hide from law enforcement.