Norwegian police have uncovered yet another network of pedophiles, this one operating with such advanced technology that they went undetected for the past 20 years. Now a gay male Norwegian couple is under arrest and police have seized several million photos and videos of assaults on young boys from around the world.
State broadcaster NRK reported Tuesday evening that the seizure made in the home of the couple now ranks as the largest of its kind in Norway. “I’ve never encountered this sort of volume before, or such professionalism,” Police Lt Fredy Salazar, who leads investigations into electronic crime for the Oslo Police District, told NRK.
The pedophile network has possessed such technological expertise that it built up advanced, encrypted computer data bases so large that police have only managed to get through around 20 percent of the material seized after five years of investigation.
Salazar and his team have worked on the case since 2014, when an Oslo mother overheard her 12-year-old son talking with a friend. He complained of having been groped by a man, an entertainer in his 50s who was a sort of mentor to them both through a local club. He wondered if the other boy had been assaulted as well. He had, and the mother reported the incidents to police.
The investigation has since identified more than 10 Norwegian men in the alleged pedophile network, with three charged for possession of material showing assaults on children. One man from Rogaland on Norway’s West Coast is also charged for repeated physical asssaults over two years on two boys under the age of 14. He has admitted to assaults on one of them.
Held positions of trust
NRK reported that several of the men have worked with children or volunteer in positions that give them extensive contact with young boys. The husband of the male entertainer worked as a football (soccer) referee, according to NRK.
Several of the men have a record of convictions for sexual assault on children or possession of material depicting assaults. Some of the men are also described as otherwise well-regarded and resourceful with families of their own. Police have managed to identify several of their victims in Norway.
“You have to realize that behind every photo is a child who’s been subjected to sexual assault,” Salazar told NRK. “When you see the huge amounts of photos, it means that very many children out there have been sexually assaulted. Being able to identify the children means we can save a child from sexual assault.”
The defense attorney for the unidentified Norwegian entertainer said he has admitted to sexually offending two boys. He denies, however, the charges that he’s part of the huge pedophile network. The attorney acknowledged that the police investigation has revealed how the network operated with secret symbols that could identify their pedophile tendencies.
The defense attorney for the entertainer’s husband has admitted to downloading and possessing material showing sexual assaults against boys, and that it occurred “over time.” He had no further comment.
Police haven’t managed to open many of the encrypted computer files they’ve seized, and fear they contain assaults on many more Norwegian boys. The couple is believed to have belonged to a network of people with unusually high levels of computer expertise. Several of the male suspects work with data technology.
NRK reported that the couple was arrested last year, four years after police finally managed to crack their encrypted files and gain access to the material. One of the men remains in custody, with police now believing that their goal was to normalize sex between grown men and young boys, both within Norway and internationally. One of the men reportedly had gained responsibility in an international group referred to as “BoyLove” that also allegedly seeks to normalize sexual assault on children.