A network apparently using WhatsApp to distribute images of child sexual exploitation has been disrupted by dozens of arrests, according to police.
A total of 39 suspects were apprehended in Europe and South America, following action by the Spanish National Police, Europol and Interpol.
Spanish investigators discovered dark web sites directing users to private WhatsApp groups last year.
Researchers then verified these groups were used to share illegal images.
House searches conducted during the arrests had led to the seizure of “hundreds of devices containing several terabytes of child sexual exploitation material”, according to Europol.
Spanish police have added that this included more than 360,000 files.