Child rape
[Representational image]Creative Commons

The police in Brazil have arrested 108 people in the biggest operation ever against paedophiles in Latin America, the media reported on Saturday.

Suspects were arrested in 24 states and the capital, Brasilia, reported the BBC.

On Friday, Justice Minister Torquato Jardim said those detained were part of a ring that shared pornographic images of children through computers and mobile phones.

The operation comes at the end of a six-month investigation, which involved US and European immigration officials.

Investigators have found more than 150,000 files containing disturbing images of babies and young children being abused.

They were accessed through the dark web, a part of the internet not reached by most search engines.

Among those arrested were retired policemen, civil servants and people in charge of football youth clubs.

Jardim said the paedophiles use sophisticated techniques to evade police investigations.

"They store their illegal, criminal photos in a computer of someone in another part of the country or even abroad... And often the people storing the content are unaware," the BBC quoted the minister as saying.