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Toronto police: 380 children rescued during kid-porn investigation

Nov. 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

TORONTO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Canadian police reviewed the results Thursday of a lengthy investigation into a Toronto producer of child pornography, including the rescue of 380 children.

Investigators said almost 350 people have been arrested around the world, including 108 in Canada and 76 in the United States, CNN reported. Brian Way, owner of a Toronto film company, Azov Films, has been behind bars since 2011.

Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, a Toronto police inspector, said investigators there began working with law enforcement in other countries in 2010 to look into Way's activities. She said producers of films made elsewhere have been arrested in their home countries.

The suspects arrested through Project Spade include 40 teachers, nine priests or ministers, six police officers and a number of healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, Beaven-Desjardins said.

Beaven-Desjardins said investigators first became aware of Azov in 2005. But at the time, the company was distributing films that showed nude children but did not cross the line into pornography or depict sexual acts.

By 2011, the company was distributing more explicit work, much of it from Ukraine and Romania. Beaven-Desjardins said investigators in Toronto worked with U.S. Postal Service inspectors to create lists of the company's customers.

During the investigation, several hundred children were found who were being sexually exploited, Beaven-Desjardins said.

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