Swiss police sting operation exposes 2,200 online paedophile

Once “Ninja Turtle” had been caught, investigators continued to use his profile to unmask other paedophiles and users of illegal child sex images.—Reuters

Swiss police have announced the success of a covert operation named “Ninja Turtle” that utilised the profile of a convicted paedophile to identify and apprehend over 2,200 individuals involved in child sex offences and child pornography around the world. 

The operation carried out over several years, resulted in arrests not only within Switzerland but also in multiple other countries. The Aargau police, based in the northern Swiss canton, disclosed that the operation’s revelations enabled law enforcement agencies to take action against offenders and disrupt their criminal activities.

The investigation originated in 2012 when Swiss authorities received information about an individual residing in Aargau who was distributing child pornography using the pseudonym “Ninja Turtle” on the anonymous material-sharing platform, GigaTribe. Investigators successfully traced the person behind the pseudonym, a 62-year-old German man who was subsequently convicted in 2015. 

However, rather than concluding the operation with his capture, law enforcement officers continued to exploit his online profile to uncover additional paedophiles and individuals involved in the illicit dissemination of child sexual exploitation material.

The police statement highlighted the success of the multi-year covert operation, stating, “2,200 pedo-criminals were unmasked.” The arrests made as a result of the operation were not limited to Switzerland but extended to various Swiss cantons, as well as countries such as Croatia, Brazil, France, and Spain. 

Notably, the operation revealed not only users of child pornography but also perpetrators who physically abused children, referred to as “hands-on perpetrators.” 

The operation has not only brought numerous offenders to justice but has also helped dismantle criminal networks operating in the dark corners of the internet.

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