BERLIN (Reuters) - German police have uncovered an underground website for child pornography with nearly 90,000 users and arrested the suspected operator of the platform, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The “Elysium” platform, built as a forum, has existed since the end of 2016 and was only accessible via the so-called Darknet, Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office and BKA Federal Police said in a statement.
Police had arrested several users of the website, mainly in Germany and Austria, it said. Among them was the suspected operator of the platform, a 39-year-old man living in the district of Limburg-Weilburg north of Frankfurt.
The website had more than 87,000 users and was used for the worldwide exchange of child pornography and to make appointments for the sexual abuse of children, prosecutors said.
“Among the child pornographic images and video files exchanged by the members of the platform were recordings of the most serious sexual abuse of children, including toddlers and depiction of sexual violence against children,” it said.
The suspected operator was arrested on June 12 when police raided his apartment and seized the server of the platform.
The statement did not say how many people had been arrested, adding that more details of the case would be made available at a news conference on Friday.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Andrew Roche