Police in Germany have identified more than 1,600 potential child sex-abuse suspects who participated in online chat groups on which child pornography and zoophilia material was shared. Many of the suspects are reportedly minors.

While most of the suspects came from across the country, digital forensic experts had picked out people from the US, Austria, Switzerland and France on suspicion of possessing or sharing images of child sex abuse in the chat groups.

According to a press statement from Bavarian police, the suspects were being evaluated as part of “two large-scale trials” being prepared by police and prosecutors. If convicted, all suspects, including the minors, would be looking at a prison term of “not less than a year.”

Police officers in the Bavarian town of Amberg had been on to the online chats after coming across an advertisement earlier in March. The chats contained graphic videos and images of sex acts with children, adolescents and animals.

Hinting at the scale of the five-month investigation, Amberg police said that they had “several hundred thousand” pages of information on the suspects – enough to fit in “21 large moving boxes.” (RT)