Hundreds arrested in international child porn case
348 people arrested and 386 children rescued
Toronto police revealed details this morning of an international child sex abuse and pornography investigation that stretched across six continents and has led to hundreds of arrests, including 50 in Ontario and 58 in the rest of Canada.
At a news conference Thursday, police said 348 people have been arrested and 386 children rescued from situations around the world where they were at risk. Twenty-four children in Canada were among those rescued, they said.
Those charged include Brian Way, 41, who operated Azovfilms.com in Toronto, and is alleged to have solicited and sold child pornography around the world. The products included videos and pictures, police said. The company went out of business in 2011.
Altogether, about 45 terabytes of child pornography on computers were seized, portraying hundreds of thousands of sexual acts involving children, Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, commander of the Toronto police sex crimes unit, said.
School teachers, doctors and actors were among those arrested, Beaven-Desjardins said. The investigation was known internally as Project Spade.
Way, the Toronto man at the heart of the investigation, was allegedly running a company since 2005 that distributed child pornography videos around the world.
Police allege he instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from five to 12 years of age, and then distributed the videos to international customers.
Way faces about two dozen charges of making, distributing, exporting and selling explicit images of boys ranging in age from toddlers to teens, the Toronto Star reported.
The United States Postal Inspection Service was closely involved in the investigation, as were authorities in Sweden, Spain, Australia, South Africa, and Hong Kong, among others. Several were represented at the Toronto news conference.
Among those present were Gerald O’Farrell, acting deputy chief inspector of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Insp. Brian Bone of the same agency, and Signy Arnason, associate executive director of Cybertip — the Canada Centre for Child Protection.
With files from The Canadian Press