A seven-year-old boy who was missing for months has been rescued from captivity in an effort which involved several countries.
The child failed to return home from school on September 28, disappearing from a 200-metre stretch between his home and a school bus stop in Gorki, Russia.
Officers in the US had no prior knowledge of the case, but on 10 November they established a potential link between a Darknet user and the kidnapping in Russia.
Upon finding the link, the officers in the US alerted INTERPOL’s network of child protective specialists.
The Crimes Against Children unit within INTERPOL works with specialised units in member countries to aid investigations through victim identification, data analysis, training and specialised tools around the world.
According to INTERPOL, police forces from several countries supplied information which would eventually help locate the boy.
“Believing the boy was still alive, INTERPOL’s Crimes against Children unit sifted through huge amounts of data, referring relevant intelligence through the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Moscow and INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database,” a media statement said.
This information then helped Russian special forces narrow down their search and identify, according to the BBC, a suspected paedophile.
The suspect was a 26 year old from Makarikha village, east of Moscow, the broadcaster reported.
Russian authorities then raided the suspect’s home and found the boy being held captive, removing him from harm.
In a video shared by the Russian Interior Ministry, police are seen breaking down a door and then finding the seven-year-old boy.
“Today, a young boy is back where he belongs – with his family – thanks to dedicated specialist officers and swift action by authorities around the world,” INTERPOL’s Secretary General Jürgen Stock said.
“While we’re truly delighted that this story has a safe ending, many children are still out there awaiting rescue.
“Successes like these only renew INTERPOL’s commitment to connecting its member countries to protect children from abusers.”
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