• Germany's news in English

Police break up child porn ring in Austria and Germany

AFP · 30 Sep 2009, 16:01

Published: 30 Sep 2009 16:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Twelve people were arrested in Germany and three men from Vienna and the provinces of Carinthia and Vorarlberg who took obscene photographs and films of children aged between eight and 12 and posted the material via an internet forum, police said at a news conference in the Austrian capital.

The children were from the men's own families, the police said.

A 41-year-old butcher from Vienna was the "star of the forum," investigator Harald Gremel said, boasting to fellow users exactly what he intended to do with his 10-year-old stepdaughter that evening, then filming the abuse and posting the pictures on the internet.

The man, who had three children of his own, had a preference for young girls aged between two and 11, Gremel said. His wife claimed not to have been aware of the abuse, even if she said she found it strange that he sometimes locked himself in a room with her daughter.

In a joint operation with German police, investigators were able to identify 136 members of the network and carried out a total 178 house searches in a number of different countries.

The suspects from Carinthia and Vorarlberg, aged 22 and 36 respectively, are accused of abusing the 12-year-old son of a friend and the eight-year-old daughter of one of their partners. They did not actually post any pictures of the abuse on the forum, but described it in detail.

Story continues below…

Police in the western German city of Wiesbaden made nine arrests. The investigation was originally launched in Germany in January with the Austrian police becoming involved in May.

Among the suspects are Austrian, German, Swiss, Spanish, Bulgarian, Canadian and US citizens.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd