Lithuanian police launched 41 investigations into the distribution of child pornography on the Internet as part of an operation carried out in October.
Lithuanian police car
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

Police officials said in a news conference in the capital on Wednesday that 18 suspects were identified during the inter-regional police operation on Oct. 9 through 12, , adding that all of them are Lithuanian nationals living in Vilnius, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and elsewhere.

"The investigations concern the dissemination of pornographic content featuring children on the Internet," Lithuanian Police Commissioner General Linas Pernavas said.

"The prevention and investigation of such crimes is one of the priorities of the police," he added.

All of the suspects are men, mostly middle-aged. One of them is more than 70 years old. The suspects are not under arrest, but they are subject to other supervision measures.

Police say that the number of suspects may still increase as another 16 people have the status of a special witness, which may change to that of a suspect.

The operation was coordinated by the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau and involved regional police forces

The police conducted around 50 searches and seized over 400 items, such as smart phones, computers and other devices. It is thought that child pornography was disseminated via special file sharing platforms.

"The main goal of this operation was to establish and prevent possible cases of sexual abuse of children," said Andzejus Roginskis, deputy chief of the Criminal Police Bureau.

BNS
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