An RCMP investigation has led to 47 Canadians being arrested and 12 children being removed from abusive environments. The RCMP state they have laid charges across 8 provinces.
The investigation, called Operation H, began in 2019 in New Zealand after an electronic service provider discovered that a large number of subscribers were sharing violent child sexual abuse material. They found that 90,000 accounts were sharing the graphic material.
Operation H is a global investigation, which shows the need for international government collaboration in the age of online crimes. In particular, online child sexual exploitation is a borderless crime targeting society’s most vulnerable. New Zealand authorities stated that the material confiscated was some of the worst and most egregious the investigators have been exposed to.
To date, more than 800 cases have been opened worldwide, with over 100 suspects. In Toronto, 6 individuals were arrested and charged with a total 18 of offences related to possessing, accessing, and distributing child sexual abuse material.
These events highlight the need for lawmakers and authorities worldwide to collaborate. As the world is pushed online, and with the introduction of the ‘metaverse’, the threat of these crimes is only going to grow.