Arrests in Canada child abuse case
Published 14/11/2013 | 18:36
Two men in Ireland were arrested as part of an international police operation against child abuse and exploitation.
The men were detained after Canadian police found their details linked to a website selling and distributing videos and images of children.
No charges have been brought against the men, one of whom is in his 40s.
Project Spade led to 341 arrests, one of which was in Ireland in February, and the rescue of 386 children worldwide.
Toronto police said the youngsters being exploited were mainly from Eastern Europe, the Ukraine and Romania and that adults, including some parents, were paid for videos and images of naked children.
Detectives believe that many of the parents may have been naive or unaware that photographs and videos of their naked children were wanted for sexual purposes.
Toronto police have been investigating the suspected online paedophile ring since October 2010 and notified police forces around the world through Interpol.
Information on the two Irish suspects was passed on in the summer of 2012.
A Garda spokeswoman said f iles on the investigations were being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Details were only released today as Toronto police announced the results of its three year investigation.
Footage of children was made into films and sold online at azovfilms.com.
It was allegedly used by Brian Way, 42, from Toronto, to sell and distribute exploitation movies and images to people across the world.
He is facing 11 sets of charges in Canada.
Detectives seized more than 45 terabytes of data and found more than four million Canadian dollars linked to the company.
Police forces in Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, Norway, Spain, Greece, Gibraltar, South Africa, Mexico and the US Postal Service were involved in the investigation.
As part of the in vestigation, Way's home and a business premises in Toronto were searched.
He was subsequently charged with operating a website that sold and distributed child exploitation films and images to people around the world.
He was also charged with possessing child porn, money laundering and instructing the commission of an offence for a criminal organisation, the first time this charge has been made in Canada in relation to a child exploitation material investigation.
Eight other people have been charged in Toronto.