STOCKHOLM, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Police in Sweden have carried out one of the largest ever crackdowns on internet child pornography in an operation that involves more than 50 suspects believed to belong to a network that acted all over the country, Swedish public television broadcaster SVT reported Tuesday.
"This crackdown is the first larger operation initiated and executed by the Swedish police for this type of crime. The National Operations Department has gone through the material and tracked suspects," said Johan Grenfors, who is head of the operation.
Most of the raids were conducted early Tuesday at addresses across the country. Fifty suspects were arrested or subjected to other law enforcement measures, according to a statement issued on the police website. All of the people involved were suspected of possessing or spreading images of sex with children.
Police arrested seven people they believed were capable of sexually abusing children in their close environment, the statement said. Police also said that it had not been possible to trace all the suspected paedophiles because their internet operators would not provide information sought by police.
Operation Bofink (or Operation Chaffinch) is the largest operation against child pornography on the internet in the country's history, according to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. Most of the suspects do not have a criminal record.
"We have assessed images belonging to each person, and in almost all of the cases we have deemed them to be serious child pornography crimes. A forensic investigation of the confiscated material will reveal to what extent each person has been involved," Police Superintendent Malin Kallstrom Bendrik told Svenska Dagbladet.
Kallstrom Bendrik said police had not yet identified the children who had been abused.
Police all over the country participated in the operation. Most of the cases were concentrated in the Stockholm region, as well as in the western and southern coastal regions of Sweden.
The raid was expected to be finished by Tuesday afternoon, police said.