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Almost 400 children rescued and 348 adults arrested in Canadian child porn bust

The three-year project, named Project Spade, began when undercover officers with the Toronto Police Service Child Exploitation service made contact with a Toronto man allegedly sharing “very graphic images” of child sexual abuse in Oct. 2010, Toronto Police Service Chief William Blair said at a press conference on Thursday.

Police said their investigation revealed an entire child movie production and distribution company in Toronto operating via the web site azovfilms.com.

The site was run by 42-year old Brian Way, according to police, and sold and distributed images of child exploitation to people across the world.

Toronto’s Sex Crimes Unit enlisted the help of the United States Postal Inspection Service since many of the videos were being exported to the U.S. and began a joint investigation.

After a seven-month long investigation, officers executed search warrants across the city of Toronto.

Investigators catalogued hundreds of thousands of images and videos of “horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst they have ever viewed in the Sex Crimes Unit.

Police seized over 45 terabytes of data from the $4-million business that distributed to over 50 counties.

As a result of the investigation thus far, 50 people were arrested in Ontario, 58 in the rest of Canada, 76 in the United States, and 164 internationally.

What was most alarming is that many of the arrests were of people who worked with or closely interacted with children.

Among those arrested were 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors and priests and three foster parents.

An indispensable aspect to the success of the operation and the rescue of 386 children from child exploitation was the expansive cooperation between Toronto police and organizations worldwide.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests could be made.

Source: Stillness in the Storm

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