NEWS

Child pornography bust spanning 17 countries leads to 41 arrests

05/06/2015 09:33 EDT | Updated 05/06/2016 05:59 EDT
York Regional Police say 41 people have been arrested in connection with a major child pornography investigation that eventually involved the RCMP and FBI.

York's Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) section said more than 100 charges have been laid in an investigation that spans 17 countries and involves 19 child victims. There were 10 arrests made in the Greater Toronto Area, with 26 charges laid.

Police are provided more details about its investigation, dubbed Project Hydra, at an 11 a.m. ET news conference at York Regional Police headquarters in Aurora, just north of Toronto.

Project Hydra began in April 2014 after the National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre told York police that child pornography was being uploaded to the internet from a computer in its jurisdiction.

Police said in a news release that executing a search warrant led to the discovery of a "social networking application" that was used by people around the world. 

York police said the investigation "focused on identifying child victims who were being sexually exploited online for the purposes of producing child pornography."

As the investigation grew, York police worked with the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, as well as Interpol.

The investigation led the RCMP to launch a parallel investigation in New Brunswick, details of which will also be made public on Wednesday.

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