Police in raid on internet child porn

POLICE HAVE charged 47 individuals, some aged between 16 and 20, following one of the biggest ever operations in Portugal against internet pornography. The defendants, all Portuguese, are accused of possessing and disseminating images of child pornography.

The operation involved 200 investigators from the Judicial Police and led to the confiscation of 57 computers, as well as CDs and DVDs. The swoop followed a yearlong investigation by the Direcção Central de Investigação da Corrupção e Criminalidade Económia e Financeira (DCICCEF), the Central Board of Investigation of Corruption and Economic and Financial Criminality. The director of the DCICCEF, Mouraz Lopes, revealed at a press conference that some of those found in possession of pornographic files were teenagers. But Lopes also said that the age of detainees ranged from 16 to 60.

Around 200 investigators carried out a total of 47 raids. Inspectors, armed with judicial warrants, entered houses, businesses and workplaces where terminals were allegedly being used to exchange pornographic files. Most searches took place in Lisbon but police also raided addresses in Porto, Coimbra, Faro, Braga, Madeira and the Azores.

A source from the Judicial Police said the authorities were establishing if the material confiscated had been intended for sale. The same source also said the authorities were collaborating with European counterparts to try to identify the children in the images.

If convicted, the defendants could face jail terms of up to three years in accordance with article 152 of the penal code.