AN Italian man accused of amassing a collection of over 2,000 sex videos of children he groomed through online gaming has been arrested by police in Malaga.
The Guardia Civil said the man had targeted victims between the ages of eight and 12 from across Spain through games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty.
So far 26 victims have been identified, but in a statement issued on Thursday officers said there may be more.
The 42-year-old had a police record for similar crimes and had previously been expelled from Spain.
The statement explained that the man targeted his victims ‘by forging a prolonged friendship with the minors through deception… buying them virtual gifts in online video games in exchange for making video calls in which he induced them to show themselves naked.’
Once his victims agreed to pose nude before the camera, the accused used his mobile device to film the footage and saved the sexual images.
The investigation began last July when a parent reported suspicions to police that their nine year-old son was being groomed by an adult online through an online game.
Investigators discovered the man had made 81 payments to game user accounts belonging to minors and traced 26 different targets.
Several of the parents expressed their surprise at being informed that their child had been targeted, and assured police that their children never played online without adult supervision.
Police discovered that he had also looked to work with children as a sports monitor, camp monitor and English teacher
He is accused of crimes of sexual abuse and recruitment of at least 26 minors for the purpose of producing child pornography.
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