Nearly 400 children have been rescued and 348 adults arrested following an expansive and “extraordinary” international child pornography investigation, Canadian police announced Thursday.
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.
Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, head of Toronto’s Sex Crimes Unit, said they 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 including at the business, located in the city’s West End.
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,” Inspector Beaven-Desjardins said at the press conference.
Police seized over 45 terabytes of data from the $4-million business that distributed to over 50 counties including Australia, Spain, Mexico, Sweden and Greece. …
Let’s be real shall we? The pornography aspect is the tip of the iceberg. Far more lucrative is the blackmail/entrapment aspect.