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Child porn ring uncovered in Austria

Austrian police believe they have uncovered a major international child pornography ring after catching a 37-year-old man from Styria in possession of tens of thousands of photos and videos.

Child porn ring uncovered in Austria
Photo: APA

When they investigated him they found that he was communicating with many other people across the world via the internet, Austria’s Federal Criminal Police (BK) said.

Overall they believe that 52 individuals are involved. In Austria six people are currently under investigation and in Germany 35 suspects have been identified.

People from Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil and Iran are also thought to be involved, according to BK spokesman Mario Hejl.

The year-long investigation was triggered after a tip-off from the Swiss Cybercrime Coordination Unit (CYCO), which had become aware of the Styrian man’s activities.

His house was searched last spring, and a large amount of hard drives containing child pornography were found.

Hejl said the suspects were exchanging photos of girls and boys. Several of the individuals are already known to police.

The Styrian man has been reported to the public prosecutor in Graz but as investigations against the other Austrians are still ongoing there is no further information on his case, according to the Austrian Press Agency.

"When it comes to heinous acts against young children and adolescents, it is important that offenders can never feel safe even in the supposedly anonymous internet," Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) said.

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

READ ALSO: Stephansdom: Vienna woken up after hacker sets church bells to ring at 2am

The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

READ ALSO: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”

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