World

Global pedophile ring probe nets 2 Canadian charges

Two Canadian men have been charged in connection with an alleged international pedophile ring based in the Netherlands.

Online forum involved rescue of child victims of abuse in 30 countries

Two Canadian men have been charged in connection with an alleged international pedophile ring based in the Netherlands that involved the rescue of 230 children.

Europol's Rob Wainwright says police arrested 184 suspects in a global investigation into a Dutch-based international pedophile ring. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press)
The charges in Ontario and Saskatchewan come as police in Europe said Wednesday they had rescued the child victims of abuse and arrested 184 suspects, part of a three-year investigation involving law enforcement officials from 13 countries, including Canada.

Philip Publuske, 40, has been charged with one count of possessing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography, Waterloo Regional Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel told CBC News.

Publuske, who has been in custody since November, has a lengthy criminal record, including for sexual assault and possession of child pornography, police said.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon police said David John Lapage, 68, of Abernethy, Sask., has been charged with accessing child pornography, possessing child pornography and making child pornography available.

There was no word yet on whether any of the victims or other suspects are Canadian, but police said 670 suspects have been identified around the world.

Europol, the European Union police agency, said the investigation code-named Operation Rescue has identified and rescued children in more than 30 countries.

The alleged ring was based around an online forum and was "probably the largest online pedophile network in the world," Europol director Rob Wainwright said Wednesday.

The forum, based in Amsterdam, had up to 70,000 members, police said.

Corrections

  • The Saskatchewan man charged in the connection with the child pornography bust is David John Lapage, 68, of Abernethy, Sask. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.
    Mar 17, 2011 12:15 PM ET

With files from The Associated Press