Almost 400 children have been rescued in a huge pedophile ring bust which saw hundreds of suspects arrested including teachers, priests, and high-ranking politicians.
Police forces in Canada performed a series of dramatic sweeping raids to take down a major international human trafficking and child pornography network.
The raids were the culmination of a 3-year-long undercover operation named Project Spade III which began when officers arrested a man that was distributing explicit images and videos of
children as part of an “exclusive” pedophilia group.
This arrest led Toronto Police to discover one of the largest child porn production and distribution companies in the world that was tucked away in the Ontario capital’s underbelly.
The company was trading on the Dark Web with pedophiles all over the world and was run by 42-year old Brian Way.
Following Way’s arrest, his companies servers, and equipment were seized which contained detailed records and links to all of his clients.
According to the head of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit, authorities enlisted the help of the US Postal Inspection Service since the majority of videos were being sent discretely in a physical format to elites in the United States.
After a 7-month-long joint investigation with the US, police raided properties across Toronto included businesses connected to Way’s company.
Officers executed search warrants across the city, and during these raids, investigators cataloged hundreds of thousands of images and videos of “horrific sexual acts against very young children,
some of the worst they have ever viewed,” according to lead investigators.
The operation has taken down a $4 million child pornography empire with 45 terabytes of data being seized from computers and hard drives.
The pedophile ring was distributing child porn to other members of their network in over 50 countries including Australia, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, and Greece.As a direct result of the data
gathered during the investigation thus far, 50 people were arrested in Ontario, 58 in other parts of Canada, 76 in the United States, and 164 internationally in a huge global cooperation.
Police officers were shocked to discover the number of pedophiles arrested who worked closely with children which included 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, six law
enforcement personnel, nine pastors and priests and three foster parents.
Also among those taken into custody were high-level politicians, corporation heads, pharmaceutical executives, and “well known” TV personalities.
According to investigators, the most disturbing part of the arrests were those that had committed suicide shortly before police arrived to arrest them.
Among those who had killed themselves before they could be taken into custody was a Chief of Staff for an unnamed U.S Senator and a teacher from an elite British private boarding school.
In one particularly horrific example of those arrested, police found over 9,000 videos over 350,000 images of child sexual abuse in the home of a retired Canadian school teacher, according
to NBC News.
Some of the images had been produced by the man himself and were of children known to him, including a child relative who he was also charged with sexually abusing.
The inspector put the success of the operation and the rescue of 386 children from child exploitation down to the expansive cooperation between Toronto police and organizations worldwide.
“[This] confirms that when we work together regardless of the borders that divide us we can successfully take down those who not only prey on our most vulnerable but also profit from it.”
Child pornography has become more prevalent and larger than we would ever like to imagine. It is said to be a $3 billion dollar industry globally, generating massive amounts of money for people
willing to exploit young children.
“While federal agencies work endlessly to fight this global issue and rescue the children affected, the people who actually get caught for the crime are just the tip of the iceberg.” Child
pornography is a huge problem that has been expanding virally on the web for years with the material getting increasingly more extreme.
In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains.20,000 images of child pornography posted on the web every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Children, 2003). Furthermore, it is estimated that illegal child pornography is offered by approximately 100,000 websites, according to U.S Customs Services.
To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of child pornography, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s
website at www.cybertipline.com or call 1-800-843-5678.
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