A youth soccer scout who posted videos of himself abusing young children has been arrested in a town near Sitges.
The man worked for various football clubs traveling around the Vilanova i la Geltrú region in the province of Barcelona watching youth matches and looking for young players.
He allegedly recorded the assaults using a mobile phone, always careful to hide his face, and then uploaded the images to various channels on the Dark Web used by pedophiles around the world.
The investigation began when special agents of the National Police detected images of child abuse in which the culprit spoke Spanish. Upon further analysis, they found that the videos appeared to have been filmed in Spain.
Due to the low quality and close-up nature of the footage, the researchers were unable to determine how many children were involved in each clip.
An international working group was set up with the collaboration of the Queensland police in Australia and the technical capabilities of Interpol, together with the local police in Sant Pere de Ribes, where the crimes took place.
So far, six victims between the ages of 3 and 10 have been identified, all of them known to the soccer scout, either by friendship with their parents or by living on the same floor.
Investigators had to resort to open source tracking and image recognition tools and outdated police intelligence techniques to identify the alleged perpetrator.
This was due to the strict security measures he took, which consisted of hiding his face, disguising himself on the Dark Web, and changing the mobile phones used to film the abuse.
However, after carefully analyzing the various clips, examining the culprit’s movements and body language, as well as the language and idioms used and other available clues, police were able to determine that they were all filmed by the same person.
A photograph included in the disgusting image cache showed the exterior of the building partially visible through a window, allowing police to determine the exact location and apartment where it was taken.
Police swept in to search the venue and arrest their main suspect, where new evidence of grotesque abuse was uncovered, indicating it had been ongoing since 2016.
As a result of the search, four hard drives, three memory cards, a mobile phone and an action camera were found.
The case remains open as through his profession he would have had a greater opportunity to continue with child abuse.