The suspected leader of an international child pornography ring has been arrested in Costa Rica as part of a probe co-ordinated with Spain and several Latin American countries.
The Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) carried out six raids on Friday morning, including the home of a commercial pilot in Rio Segundo, Alajuela (minutes from the international airport), detaining a 45 year old man identified by his last names Loria Pereira.
Costa Rican authorities believe the man distributed child pornography material, an act that is punishable in Costa Rica by up to four years in prison and from six months to two years for the possession of illicit material.
Raids also occurred in Paso Ancho, San Francisco de Dos Rios, Tres Ríos de La Unión, Guapiles and Siquirres, with police seizing computers and electronic equipment alleged used to produce and distribute the child pornographic material.
Simultaneous raids were carried out by authorities in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay and Spain.
The operation was part of an coordinated international attack on child pornography called “Operación Pureza II para combatir la pornografía infantil en Internet” (Operation Purity II to combat child pornography on the Internet), that began in April.
In Brazil, authorities there report the detention of four, who, presumably, were part of an international network of pedophiles, but not necessarily linked to Operación Pureza II.
Marisel Rodriguez, spokesperson for the OIJ, told the press that it is presumed that the Loira obtained the material and then spread it, and that there is no indication of it being produced in Costa Rica.
Friday afternoon, Loira was released by the Tribunales de Justicia de San José with the precautionary measure not to leave the country during the next three months.