The League of Internet Security, a Russian public organization, said on Wednesday it had broken an international ring of 130 alleged pedophiles, in cooperation with police.
Two organizers of the ring, described by the League’s president, Konstantin Malofeyev, as the “largest in the history of Russian internet,” have been arrested.
“What is happening in the Russian internet now is an orgy,” he said during a news conference in Moscow.
The two men, the owner and administrator of a website that brought together the alleged pedophiles, face up to 15 years in prison on charges of child abuse, Denis Davydov, the League’s executive director, said.
One of its ring’s organizers headed a boys’ choir at a children’s arts school, the League said in a press release.
Most of the members of the ring were Russian nationals, Davydov said. There were also German, French and Israeli citizens involved, as well as nationals of several former Soviet republics.
The criminal ring has operated for several years before being caught, Davydov said.
In October, the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, approved a bill stipulating chemical castration for pedophiles. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who first suggested the amendments in May, said punishment for pedophiles should be "as harsh as possible."
The bill also stipulates that pedophiles should be stripped of the right to plea for a suspended sentence and re-offenders for sex crimes against minors will face life sentences.
The voluntary chemical castration procedure involves regular injections leading to a fall in the level of the male hormone testosterone, which suppresses sexual drive. Its effect, however, is not irreversible.