German police have conducted raids across two states in investigations into child pornography with victims as young as infants, local authorities said Wednesday, while 100 suspects have been identified in a third case.
The raids in the southern state of Bavaria took place on Tuesday and targeted 50 properties connected to 55 suspects aged between 18 and 73, the state’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann and justice minister Georg Eisenreich said.
They are accused of obtaining videos showing severe and violent abuse of children, including infants.
In Saxony state, the homes of 36 suspects accused of possessing, buying or distributing child pornography were raided last week in and around the city of Chemnitz, police said.
Meanwhile, investigators in the western city of Wuppertal said they had identified around 100 suspects as part of a probe into two men accused of sexually abusing children as young as five months.
The two original suspects, aged 22 and 44, are accused of abusing children from 2016 to 2021 as well as photographing and filming the assaults.
The new suspects are accused of obtaining the resulting child pornography, the investigators said on Wednesday.
The children are said to have been between five months and 12 years old.
Germany has been shaken by several serious cases of child sex abuse in recent years.
Investigators said earlier this month they had identified 439 suspected paedophiles as part of a probe into a huge child pornography network linked to the city of Bergisch Gladbach.
In 2020, 11 people were arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing children and filming their actions after videos and photos were seized from the cellar of a 27-year-old man from the city of Muenster.
In an earlier scandal in Luegde, 125 kilometres (80 miles) from Muenster, several men preyed on children at a campsite for years.
The government in 2020 agreed tougher punishments for using and sharing child pornography as part of a crackdown on child abuse.