ROME, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Ten people were arrested in Italy in an operation against a suspected nation-wide paedophile network on Friday.
Italian postal and communication police in the northeast city of Bolzano carried out 47 raids, gathering a large amount of paedophile photo and video materials in the computers of those under investigation.
Overall, some 48 people allegedly involved in the production or use of paedophile files were questioned, police said in a statement. The network would have stretched across at least 13 Italian regions, from Trentino-Alto Adige in the far north to southern Sicily.
The prove had started in February 2016, after a 38-year-old Italian national was arrested for being found in possession of 4 Terabyte of files featuring sexual abuses on minors.
An "impressive number" of contacts across the country were also found in the man's computer, police said.
Investigators also found evidence of an extensive use of the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which would have allowed encrypted phone conversations among the suspected members of the network.
The man arrested last year, whose personal details were not made known by authorities, was believed to be the kingpin of the network.
The operation called "Black Shadow" was coordinated by prosecutors in Trento, along with officers from Italy's National Center for Combating Child Pornography online (CNCPO).