Italian police smash nationwide child pornography ring

ROME (AP) — Italian police say they have broken up a child pornography ring involving sharing of illicit material, including photos of newborns, via an instant messaging platform.

Police on Saturday said the crackdown involved dozens of search warrants and led to the arrests of three people for allegedly possessing what was described in a statement as “huge quantities of pornographic material depicting minors.” They said some 50 people are under investigation.

The police statement said postal police investigators discovered photos of nude minors and other “horrifying content, depicting actual sexual violence where the victims were often newborns.”

Police said in some cases the pornography was produced at home. Material was exchanged on an instant messaging platform that investigators didn’t publicly identify except to say it was “well-known.”

Police expressed appreciation for cooperation from a Canadian organization, the National Child Exploitation Coordination Center.

In Italy, Turin-based prosecutors coordinated the investigation with the Italian postal police corps.