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Authorities claimed on Wednesday that a global investigation headed by New Zealand into online child sexual abuse material found more than 90,000 accounts, led to the arrest of hundreds of perpetrators around the world, and protected 146 children.

When a New Zealand-based internet service provider raised the alarm in late 2019, the collection of online photos was uncovered, initiating a two-year inquiry called "Operation H " The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) of New Zealand, the FBI of the United States, the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, Europol, and INTERPOL collaborated to identify and investigate individuals linked to the accounts.

 According to the DIA, 836 cases were investigated abroad, with 146 children being protected. In New Zealand, 46 persons were detained, with hundreds more arrested around the world, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, and Slovenia.

 Many of the 450 people detained by Britain's National Crime Agency worked in positions of trust, including primary schools and nurseries, law enforcement and medical businesses, and some religious figures.

 "This is not a victimless crime; every time this material is accessed, that child is victimised again," said Houston of the DIA.