Police officers from the General Police Administration (GPU) and the Police Administration (PU) Ljubljana are involved in an extensive international criminal investigation into the sexual abuse of children via the Internet, which was carried out in cooperation with Europol, Hungary, Croatia and some countries from the Western Balkan region within the framework of the European platform for the fight against international organized crime, stepped on the toes of eight Slovenians.
“Slovenian police officers received information that several Slovenian citizens were obtaining and distributing material depicting the sexual abuse of children via the Internet. The videos show children being sexually abused by adults and nude photos of children. Some suspects paid for the material with cryptocurrencies and operated on the dark net. The investigation of the Slovenian citizens who disseminated the material took place in cooperation with foreign authorities,” he said. Robert Tekavec, head of the Department for Juvenile Crime and added that the investigation took place within the framework of the European platform. There were no Slovenian children among the abused.
The runner said that they managed to obtain information on the basis of which the suspects were identified. They are eight Slovenian citizens from the area of PU Ljubljana, Koper, Kranj and Novo mesto. The five suspects paid for the controversial material with cryptocurrencies.
All eight were searched at the beginning of November and their electronic devices were seized. The investigation has not yet been completed, and the crime carries a sentence of six months to eight years.
Two victims identified
Primož Podbelšek, a criminologist involved in the investigation of adult crimes, said that in January 2023 they received information that several citizens had obtained material depicting the sexual abuse of children since 2021. He said that they used the dark web to hide their actions and identity, they used different internet accesses. They identified two victims from the Western Balkans, two children, of sexual abuse. So far, there is no data that would indicate a mutual connection
They said about the suspects that they are adults of various profiles and added that they were not known to the police before that.