Washington, July 30 (IANS) In its largest crackdown on child prostitution to date, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Monday announced to have arrested 150 people and rescued 105 children from different parts of the country.
The nationwide operation over the weekend, authorities said, took investigators to race tracks and truck stops and target the use of social media sites for child prostitution activity, the CNN reported Monday.
Overall, the three-day undercover roundup Operation Cross Country took place in 76 cities and involved 230 law enforcement units, the FBI said .
In a news conference, the agency said authorities arrested 150 pimps during the raids, Xinhua reported.
“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America, ” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division.
“This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”
The pimps preyed particularly on troubled children, including children from broken homes or with a history of abuse, low self- esteem, and little social support, authorities said.
The latest operation was part of the Innocence Lost Initiative, which has resulted in more than 2,700 children recovered from trafficking and sexual exploitation since 2003.