A 36-year-old cruise ship employee from Morden, Man., faces child pornography charges after police and Canadian border officials in Halifax found explicit files aboard the ship.

Halifax Regional Police say the man was arrested following a routine search aboard the MS Veendam, a Holland America cruise ship, while it was docked in the Nova Scotia capital on Monday.

Canada Border Service Agency officers discovered "explicit electronic files depicting child pornography on various electronic equipment belonging to a crew member," police said in a news release Tuesday.

The man, a musician who was employed by the cruise line, faces charges of possessing and smuggling child pornography.

He has been detained in Halifax and was scheduled to appear in Nova Scotia provincial court on Tuesday.

Searches common

A spokesman from the CBSA said searches aboard cruise ships are common because every ship and passenger that arrives in Canada has to be cleared by the organization.

"Some are selected for a more intensive search than others based on a number of variables," said Albert Price. "In this case, the officers decided to conduct a search, and they ended up searching electronic media in this crew member's cabin, and they... found child pornography at that point."

Price wouldn't say what lead investigators to search that specific cabin.

He said out of all the searches conducted on vessels in the Atlantic region, only a handful have uncovered child porn:

  • 2012: there were six seizures of child porn.
  • 2011: 17 seizures.
  • 2010: 14 seizures.
  • 2009: 19 seizures.