Boy, 7, is rescued 52 days after being kidnapped by suspected paedophile in Russia

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Russian special forces found him after US police tipoff from the dark web

World | The Independent

Russian special forces tore their way through a reinforced metal door to rescue a seven-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and held by a suspected paedophile for 52 days.

Savely Rogovtsev, who was said to be “doing well” despite the trauma, was bundled into a car by the suspect on his way home from school.

Footage of the raid in a village east of Moscow showed the officers dramatically breaking in to rescue him after he went missing on 28 September.

Officers had been given a tipoff from Interpol, which had been alerted when US police found a possible link between a prominent user of an underground dark web and the boy’s abduction.

Several other countries assisted information gathering in an effort to trace the boy.

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It is thought the tipoff came from an unnamed foreign intelligence agency that scours hidden areas of the internet used by criminals.

Based on this intelligence, Russian authorities identified the suspect as a 26-year-old from Makarikha, 185 miles outside the capital.

Police have detained the man who allegedly bundled the boy into a car on the day of the kidnapping, but have not yet revealed his identity.

The boy was found unharmed and his father told Russia’s Tass news agency that he had been seen by medics and “was doing well”.

“He is healthy, and hasn’t lost weight,” the father said, adding that “he was very happy to see his mother”.

A huge search mission involving the police, army and volunteers began when Savely went missing. He was feared to have been murdered.

The seven-year-old disappeared after getting off his school bus, before the suspect then “pushed” the boy into his car, according to Savely’s father.

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Specialists have now been brought in to help support the boy and his family following the traumatic events.

Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock said: “Today, a young boy is back where he belongs – with his family – thanks to dedicated specialist officers and swift action by authorities around the world.

“While we’re truly delighted that this story has a safe ending, many children are still out there awaiting rescue.”

He added: “Successes like these only renew Interpol’s commitment to connecting its member countries to protect children from abusers.”

Regional children’s ombudsman Gennady Prokhorichev said the rescue was a “miracle”, though added that the child now needs “strong psychological help”.

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