A seven-year-old boy has been rescued from captivity by Russian special forces thanks to intelligence received and analysed by INTERPOL’s Crimes against Children unit.
The young boy had been missing since 28 September, after he failed to return home from school. He disappeared somewhere along the 200m stretch between his school bus stop and home in Gorki.
On 10 November, without any prior knowledge of the case, officers in the US were able to establish a potential link between a prominent Darknet user to the kidnapping in Russia. They immediately alerted INTERPOL’s network of child protection specialists.
The international law enforcement community rallied, with police forces in several countries supplying information to find clues to help locate both the user and the boy. Believing the boy was still alive, INTERPOL’s Crimes against Children unit sifted through huge amounts of data, referring relevant intelligence through the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Moscow and INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database.
It was thanks to this information that Russian special forces narrowed down their search. Russian authorities identified the suspect and raided the home where the boy was being held, removing the child from harm.
INTERPOL’s Secretary General Jürgen Stock congratulated all involved, saying: “Today, a young boy is back where he belongs – with his family – thanks to dedicated specialist officers and swift action by authorities around the world.
“While we’re truly delighted that this story has a safe ending, many children are still out there awaiting rescue. Successes like these only renew INTERPOL’s commitment to connecting its member countries to protect children from abusers,” added Secretary General Stock.
INTERPOL’s Crimes against Children unit works closely with specialized units in its member countries, supporting investigations around the world through victim identification, data analysis, training and specialized tools such as the ICSE database.