Investigators said they saved 146 children in a global campaign against online sexual abuse.

More than 830 investigations were initiated, as announced by Europol in The Hague on Wednesday.

According to the information, more than 90,000 user accounts had been identified.

According to Europol, 46 people were arrested in New Zealand alone, and more than 100 suspects were identified in the European Union.

Investigators in New Zealand started the investigation in 2019.

It was based on a provider's report that a large number of suspected sex offenders used the platform to exchange photos.

According to Europol, it was about extremely cruel and sadistic images, victims were also very small children.

On the basis of this report, 32 gigabytes of image material were finally secured.

In the countries involved, tens of thousands of user accounts were identified and examined.

In this way it was possible to find 146 children and bring them to safety.

In two cases, in Austria and Hungary, the suspects allegedly abused their own children aged six and eight.

The New Zealand Police were in charge of the operation.

Investigators from eleven other countries were involved, eight of them in the EU.

Germany was not involved.

Europol, Interpol and the FBI supported the operation.

Investigations were still ongoing in many cases in the EU.