Washington, DC - This weekend, special agents and investigators in the United States and European Union scrambled to rescue a 22-month-old Romanian baby after learning that she was being sexually abused. It was 1:13 a.m. on Saturday when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents with the HSI Attaché Liaison Office at Europol in The Hague received disturbing information revealing an active abuse situation.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) sent the information to HSI after discovering images of the abuse on the Internet. HSI special agents immediately coordinated with Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, who reached out to Romanian officials. Within 72 hours, Romanian law enforcement executed a search warrant and arrested the suspected predator, a 34-year-old male. Evidence found at the home matched the self-produced child sexual abuse material that the perpetrator uploaded online.
“This case illustrates HSI’s unyielding commitment in working with our world-wide law enforcement partners to protect our children,” said Peter T. Edge, HSI executive associate director. “When it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we will leave no stone unturned.”
Europol’s Deputy Director Operations, Wil van Gemert said, “This serves as an example of how fast and effective international police cooperation can lead to the arrest of child sex offenders and rescue of the child victims, which continues to be a very high priority for Europol and its partners worldwide. We will continue our efforts to fight this horrific crime and to ensure a safe environment for children all around the world.”
To protect the identity of the victim, no further details are available at this time.