A huge police roundup of a ring of pedophiles once again shows the dangers of unsupervised Internet, advises the National Fraud Unit.
A three-month undercover investigation netted the arrest of approximately 30 suspected pedophiles in the largest-ever operation of its kind in Israel.
Fraud Unit officials said that police several months ago recruited a pedophile who cooperated in the investigation by showing them how to enter online networks and encourage pedophiles to answer.
Using the information, police designed a profile of a 12-year-old girl, whose identity was assumed by a policewoman and who established “chat” relationships with suspects.
Police spokesman said that the policewoman, whose identity has been kept secret, later related she was disgusted by chats that included sexual language and even pornographic videos.
The chat conversations were taped and included suggestive offers to the person who was purported to be a girl only 12 years old. Police also filmed suspects who arrived at places where they were to meet the girl.
Several of the pedophiles are from backgrounds of typical middle-aged professionals, and none of them have criminal backgrounds.
“Cyberspace is a dangerous place,” said National Fraud Unit Major-General Moti Aderi, quoted by Yediot Acharonot.
Police are sifting through computer material to enable them to contact the families of children who have been in touch with the pedophiles.
Despite the roundup, officials believe there are many more pedophiles operating throughout Israel.