German police arrested four men this past week who ran and maintained a child abuse image website called Boystown. The platform hosted and shared photos and videos of children, the BKA, Germany’s federal police agency, said in a statement. More than 4000,000 people around the world were members of the site.
Three of the men accused of managing the site were found after police raided seven addresses across Germany. The fourth man was found in Paraguay; he’s set to be extradited to Frankfurt. The men, who have not had their names released due to German law, were arrested back in the middle of April last month, but their arrests were announced on Monday. According to BKA, the site is no longer live, and other chats connected to it have been removed and shut down.
The men are accused of founding and managing the account. They also reportedly gave members of the site advice on how not to get caught. The men arrested were all between the ages of 40 to 64. One of them is 64 and is from Hamburg; he personally uploaded more than 3,500 child abuse images.
“Furthermore, members of the platform received safety instructions from them for secure surfing on ‘Boystown’ in order to minimize the risk of discovery by law enforcement authorities,” the BKA said.
The site has been around since June 2019 “served the worldwide exchange of child pornography by platform members, whereby mainly recordings of abuse of boys were exchanged.” The website was located on the dark web via an encrypted series of web pages that someone couldn’t normally reach surfacing the everyday web.