An Israeli hi-tech executive has been arrested on suspicion of sexually exploiting hundreds of minors over the Internet.

The name of the 40-year-old Sharon region resident was given to Israel Police by the International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, which identified that he frequently surfs pedophilic websites. According to Israel Police, investigators arrived at his workplace, where they requested to arrest him, and when the suspect realized what was going on he tried to commit suicide but the police prevented him from doing so.

The deputy-director general of a hi-tech firm is suspected of exploiting minors aged 10 to 15 that he found on websites they frequently visit, and appeared to him as potential victims. After presenting a fake name and age, the suspect earned their trust and allegedly asked them to touch themselves and engage in virtual intercourse with him.

The suspect, who is married, a father of three and has no criminal record, used Internet cameras to document some of the incidents. During initial investigations, the suspect said he never came into direct contact with the minors and never spoke to them on the phone. However, he did not deny that he contacted them over the Internet.

Four months ago, the father of a 13-year-old girl contacted Israel Police’s fraud division to file a complaint regarding his daughter. The 13-year-old received requests from another young woman to perform indecent acts while chatting on a program called "oobo."

The father suspected that an impostor, posing as a young woman, made the requests, and thus contacted the police’s fraud division. For four months, fraud police performed an investigation and followed the man. During the four month period, Israel Police contacted Interpol, in an attempt to track and receive the man’s IP address. Interpol coordinates activity between different police forces around the world.

According to the information held by the police, the suspect engaged with both boys and girls, hundreds of instant messaging addresses were found on his computer. Judges at the Kfar Sava Magistrate's Court extended his arrest on Monday by eight days.

In the judges' decision, it was written that "There is an extensive number of potential victims, and even if the police do no reach them all, that does not mean there is no way to allow it (the police) to pursue the truth, at least for some of the victims."

The police estimate that they will not reach all the minors who suffered at the hands of the suspect, but if they do reach some of them it will be possible to issue a severe indictment.

At this stage there is a gag order on the name and workplace of the suspect.

Read this article in Hebrew.