Police arrested 17 pedophiles in a countrywide sweep on Tuesday, following an investigation by the cyber-crime unit. Two of the suspects are minors, ages 17 and 15.
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Following reports of increased viewing and downloading of pedophilic material on the Internet, the operation to reach the source of the material was launched in all districts by the investigations and intelligence branch. As opposed to previous operations, detectives focused on those they suspected had made contact with minors or would try to harm minors directly. The operation began a few weeks ago, only after these individuals had been pinpointed.
Police used advanced technology in their investigation and involved law enforcement in other countries where the websites apparently originated.
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of one suspect, from the Haifa Bay area town of Kiryat Motzkin. Another suspect, from Bnei Brak, was brought for a remand hearing before the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court. Five other suspects, residents of Carmiel, the greater Tel Aviv area and the Sharon, were questioned and released under restrictions, including house arrest for five days.
The minors, one of whom was placed under five-day house arrest, are from the greater Tel Aviv area. They will both be referred for therapy following the completion of the investigation against them.
The police confiscated computers and media of a sexual nature including full sexual relations between minors and adults. More than a hundred gigabytes of such material was found on a single computer and police believe the total amount of the material confiscated to be in the hundreds of gigabytes.