Israeli police said on Tuesday they had arrested more than 30 alleged online paedophiles after a three-month operation in which a young policewoman posed as a child in phone conversations.
A police statement said that those arrested were suspected of “possessing and distributing paedophile material, attempting to meet and meeting minors, indecent acts and attempted statutory rape.”
Speaking to Israeli army radio, the unnamed policewoman said she had posed as a 12-year-old girl.
“In the conversations I made a point of saying that I’m very young, that I’m shy,” she said.
Police said the officer also posed as a young boy in her talks with suspects.
She told the radio that male officers ran online chat sessions in which suspects showed indecent images of themselves.
Israeli news website Ynet said the suspects were aged from 20 to 57 and included students, civil servants, a defence official and a former police officer.
It said the undercover officer was a young woman performing her mandatory national service with the police. Such service is usually done from age 18 to 20.