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Crackdown on online child sex abuse in Scotland nets 77 predators

Police Scotland Electric powered BMW Police vehicle. Electric police car, Scotland, Britain - 18 Mar 2016. Garry F McHarg/REX/Shutterstock

LONDON – Scottish police have charged 77 people and found more than 30 million pictures of young people being abused during a six-week operation against online child abuse.

Police Scotland says 122 youngsters have been referred to child-protection services, and more than 500 children between 3 and 18 identified as “victims or potential victims of online predators.”

READ MORE: Massive child sex abuse ring uncovered in Pakistan

The suspects face more than 390 charges, including rape, grooming, sexual extortion and indecent communication.

Detectives scoured more than 100,000 online chat logs as part of Operation Lattise, focusing on sites and social media platforms used by young people.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said Friday that there is “an evolving and deeply concerning threat posed by predatory sex offenders, given that these offences can be perpetrated online at the touch of a button.”

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