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By Amy Smith, Contributing Reporter

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL — Brazilian federal police said Thursday they had charged eighteen people for child pornography crimes. The suspects are accused of exchanging obscene images and videos of minors through an invitation-only encrypted file-sharing website with users in as many as 34 other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, said a statement.

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Inspector Diana Calazans Mann talks to reporters, image recreation.

Among the members of the group, 97 were from abroad and 63 from Brazil. Speaking to reporters, Inspector Diana Calazans Mann said there were images of infants and children being sexually abused.

“There are injuries committed against children […],” she added. “It is the worst I have seen.”

The investigation, conducted with support from Interpol and dubbed Operation DirtyNet, began six months ago, when the federal police began to monitor private networks for Internet file sharing.

Arrests were made in Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Ceara, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Maranhao, said the police statement, adding that one person remains at large.

The statement also said that Interpol has been notified of the evidence surrounding users in the 34 other countries so that “investigations can get under way in those countries and those involved in the ring be identified.”

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