Some 75 people have been arrested across Europe for sharing paedophiliac material on the internet, according to separate statements from the Italian police and the European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol.
In a statement, Europol said it flagged 611 suspicious cases to national police forces, followed up by 207 criminal investigations. Those had already led to some convictions among the 75 arrested.
A spokeswoman told dpa that the mission, dubbed Operation Daylight, concerned all EU nations except Malta and the Czech Republic, but she could not give a national breakdown of the arrests.
Separately, an Italian police statement said about 100 more persons across the bloc were reported to judicial authorities for producing and sharing child sexual abuse material on the internet.
In Italy, five people were arrested and 16 were reported to magistrates. All had previously been "above suspicion," with no previous brushes with the law. All were aged 50 or above.
"The operation has uncovered a vast paedophile network," the Italian statement said, adding that access to it was "rigidly" regulated and required patient work to be infiltrated by police.