Nearly 100 people have been arrested in the United States and Australia as part of “Operation Bakis,” a joint operation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the FBI, uncovering an international pedophile ring. The operation began after two FBI agents were killed while investigating the alleged ring, leading to the discovery of the group. At least 13 children were rescued, and several individuals were charged with sharing child abuse material online. Law enforcement officials emphasized the importance of international collaboration in tackling such complex and anonymous networks.
- Initiation of Operation Bakis: The joint investigation, named “Operation Bakis,” was launched after two FBI agents were fatally shot while investigating a suspected international pedophile ring. The operation has led to the arrest of 98 people in the US and Australia, including 19 Australian men charged with sharing child abuse material online.
- Rescue and Convictions: As a result of the operation, at least 13 children have been rescued from further harm, and 43 people have been convicted of child abuse offenses in the U.S. Two suspects in Australia have been sentenced.
- Complexity of the Network: Most of the Australian suspects were highly knowledgeable about internet networks, and some were even accused of producing their own child abuse material. The operation exposed a sophisticated peer-to-peer network sharing child abuse material on the dark web.
- Importance of Collaboration: Both the AFP and the FBI stressed the significance of national and international collaboration in combating such criminal networks. The operation demonstrated that teamwork and collaboration across countries are essential to ensure successful prosecution and to disrupt the cycle of abuse.
- Continuing Efforts: Law enforcement agencies continue to work on the case, highlighting the ongoing complexity and challenge in fighting child sexual abuse crimes. The FBI is also alerting other countries to suspects within their jurisdictions, emphasizing the global nature of this problem.