Child abuse: traces of over 30,000 suspects discovered – Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf – What an amazing number! In the “Bergisch Gladbach” abuse complex, investigators found traces of more than 30,000 suspects. It’s not just about the spread and possession of child pornography, but also about serious child abuse.

This was announced on Monday by NRW Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (72, CDU) in Düsseldorf. These are international pedocriminal networks with a focus on German-speaking countries.

In forums and messenger services, the pedophile criminals openly dealt with their abuses, heated themselves up and gave tips, among other things, on how children could be brought to tranquility with drugs.

“Those who hesitate are encouraged and urged by others to put their intentions into practice,” said Biesenbach. These chats also set up dates to abuse multiple offenders on a child.

It was a “new dimension of the crime,” said the Minister of Justice and confessed that he had “become sick”. “We have to recognize that child abuse is more widespread on the Internet than we previously assumed.” The fact that communication about the deeds is taken for granted is “extremely irritating” and “deeply disturbing,” said the Minister of Justice. It is to be feared that in such an atmosphere the inhibition thresholds will drop and men will commit acts of abuse who would have been afraid of this without the appropriate environment.

Biesenbach: “The crimes are not only committed by individual offenders, but in a networked online network of sympathizers, supporters, assistants and accomplices. The perpetrators use all the possibilities that the network offers them. They exchange information, they exchange pictures and videos of their deeds and use the technical possibilities of the Internet to communicate with each other camouflaged and under pseudonyms in chat groups and via messenger. ”


Infographic: Cases of Child Abuse and Child Pornography in Germany  info.bild.de

Biesenbach announced that as of July 1, a dedicated task force at the Cybercrime North Rhine-Westphalia Central and Contact Point (ZAC NRW) will perform concerted hunts for child molesters and drain the swamp.

The crimes in this area presented the judiciary with major challenges, because the evaluation of the evidence often had to be difficult and took a lot of time. So far, the ZAC NRW has been primarily responsible for combating criminal hackers, cyber terrorists and drug dealers. Since the end of last year, the office has also been involved in investigations into sexual crimes against children.

Biesenbach criticized that there was still no obligation to store and disclose the connection data. It is therefore unclear whether in all cases it is possible to determine the real names behind the pseudonyms with which the criminals communicate, said Chief Prosecutor Markus Hartmann.

Dr. Christoph Hebbecker (35), head of ZAC NRW, explains: “That does not necessarily mean that 30,000 people are behind the tracks. However, we assume that this number is only the beginning, because this is only a section of the previous investigations. But that’s a special dimension. ”It could well be that a suspect is behind two or more IP addresses.

Oberstaatsanwalt Markus Hartmann hat Zweifel, dass alle Verdächtigen ermittelt werden könnenPhoto: Federico Gambarini / dpa

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Chief Prosecutor Markus Hartmann has doubts that all suspects can be identifiedPhoto: Federico Gambarini / dpa

To date, 72 suspects nationwide have been identified in the “Bergisch Gladbach” complex. Ten were in custody recently. Seven charges against eight people have already been filed. The case got underway in October 2019 with the first search of one of the main suspects in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne.

The complex had employed 120 to 140 investigators a day in June. In the top there were even 350 employees. Some of the suspects are said to have abused their own children and exchanged pictures of the crimes. Investigators have been evaluating huge amounts of data for months. The investigation has long since extended to all 16 federal states.

The Cologne crime director Michael Esser recently reported that the work in the “Berg” investigation group, which has been in existence since autumn 2019, is very stressful. Three investigators were permanently ill. Others could have resumed work after receiving psychological care.

In particular, the viewing of the video material brings every investigator to the limit of his resilience. The “Special Mountain Organization” has so far identified 44 children and freed them from the clutches of the perpetrators. Among them was a three month old baby.

Anonymous and free advice offers

▶︎ You suspect that a child is being abused or abused in your area? Have you seen something that worries you? Then you can answer (anonymously) “Sexual Abuse Help Phone” turn: 0800 22 55 530.

▶︎ Children and adolescentsThose who have experienced abuse can get it from Monday to Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m. “Number against grief” 116 111 Support. On the website there is also the possibility to chat with the consultants.

▶ ︎ Who has the feeling pedophile tendencies owning contacts in the project “Don’t be a perpetrator” from the Berlin Charité. On the website and at 030 450 529 450 there is free information. Medical confidentiality applies.

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