German police have arrested three men, one of whom has been arrested in Paraguay on suspicion of running one of the world’s largest networks and sharing child sexual abuse images.
The international operation, involving several police forces, targeted a dark web platform called Boys town, which has now been dismantled.
Authorities say Boycetown has more than 400,000 registered users.
They say some images show the most serious sexual abuse of young children.
The dark web is a field of the Internet beyond the reach of conventional search engines.
The German-led investigation involved law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the US and Canada.
Europol, the EU’s police agency, said it would also review the information it obtained from the operation and “expect further arrests and rescues around the world.”
Europol says several related paddle tic chat sites on the dark web have also been dismantled.
German police say three men believed to have been arrested since mid-April run a network: one from Paderborn, one from Monique, one from Monique, and one from northern Germany, 58, who has been living in South America for several years. He was arrested in Paraguay’s Concepción region and German authorities requested extradition, according to an international arrest warrant.
The fourth suspect, a 64-year-old man from Hamburg, is believed to be one of the most active members responsible for more than 3,500.