Russian special forces, acting on a tip from the US, rescued a 7-year-old boy kidnapped in late September by a suspected pedophile.
In a short but harrowing video released by the Russian interior ministry, the soldiers can be seen cutting through a reinforced metal door to reach the boy and arrest the 26-year-old suspect in the village of Makarikha, east of Moscow, the BBC reported.
Police in several countries had helped locate the suspect using the agency’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database, Interpol said in a statement. The breakthrough came on Nov. 10, when officers in the US who did not know about the missing boy established a potential link between a prominent “dark web” user to the kidnapping in Russia.
The boy was abducted on Sept. 28 after he got off a school bus a short distance from his home. About 3,000 people joined in massive search, but it was the information from the dark web that helped track the child down.
The dark web is a part of the internet that is not visible to search engines and accessible only through specialized tools.
Police forces in several countries helped find clues to locate both the user and the boy, according to Interpol. Its Crimes against Children unit “sifted through huge amounts of data,” to find relevant intelligence, the international law enforcement agency said. “It was thanks to this information that Russian special forces narrowed down their search.”
The child, who was not named, “was doing well,” after he was returned to his family, his father told Russia’s Tass news agency.
“He is healthy, and hasn’t lost weight,” the father said. Psychologists were brought in to help the boy and the family recover from the trauma.