Brantford man charged in Child Pornography international investigation

By Lynda Powless

Editor

BRANTFORD, ONT-A 19-year-old Brantford man is facing child pornography charges after the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) Operation H child pornography global investigation resulted in 47 Canadians facing 186 charges and 12 children being removed from abusive situations.

Brantford Police, after receiving information from New Zealand’s DIA investigation Operation H,   arrested and charged a city man with possession and access of child pornography.

Brantford Police said New Zealand’s DIA launched Operation H, which uncovered child pornography information from around the world. New Zealand’s DIA provided this information to Canada’s National Child Exploitation Centre (NCECC), which then disseminated the information to the appropriate local police jurisdictions. Brantford Police Service investigators received information regarding a local incident and initiated an investigation which resulted in the arrest of a Brantford man.

On Thursday, May 21, 2020, the Brantford Police Service reviewed an investigative package that had been sent by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Child Exploitation Centre (NCECC) in Ottawa. This investigation involved a cloud storage company located in New Zealand.   The information revealed that in September 2019, a Brantford user had created an account on this platform and had accessed and possessed at least two child pornography videos.

On June 22, 2020, a search warrant was executed, and electronic devices were seized from a Brantford residence. A cellular phone which had been seized was examined by investigators who located multiple child pornography images and videos.

As a result a 19-year-old man from Brantford,  was charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

  • Possession of child pornography x 2
  • Access Child pornography

Police said the  investigation is now before the courts.

As the accused was under the age of majority at the time of the alleged incidents, his name cannot be released as per the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Brantford arrest comes after an international operation led by New Zealand’s Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) into online child sexual exploitation, 47 Canadians have been arrested and 12 children have been removed from abusive situations. To date 186 charges have been laid in Canada. The global operation is ongoing.

Operation H, the largest online child exploitation operation led out of New Zealand, was launched in October 2019 by DIA’s Digital Child Exploitation Team. The team received an alert from an Electronic Service Provider who discovered a large number of subscribers using the platform to share some of the most graphic and violent child sexual abuse material online.

In October 2019, New Zealand’s Digital Child Exploitation Team advised the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) National Child Exploitation Crime Centre (NCECC) of a secure cloud storage site containing some of the most horrific child sexual abuse material. More than 90,000 online accounts were identified in New Zealand as having possessed or traded child sexual abuse material including many more around the globe.

The NCECC collaborated with the NZ DIA and Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) units across Canada to help advance their individual investigations. The operation resulted in arrests in 8 provinces over the past two years.

The NCECC is the central point of contact for investigations related to online sexual exploitation of children across the country and internationally when the victim or offender is Canadian. It includes a team of victim identification specialists trained in advanced investigative techniques including forensic image and video analysis. They work closely with other victim identification specialists around the world to identify and rescue victims of online child sexual abuse.

Reports of online child sexual abuse material should be reported immediately to local police or to Cybertip.ca

Supt. Andre Boileau, Officer in Charge, NCECC  said o”nline child sexual exploitation is borderless and is among the most heinous crimes targeting our most vulnerable – our children. This global operation demonstrates the importance of collaborative law enforcement efforts. The RCMP and its partners around the globe are committed to detecting, identifying and safeguarding children from online child sexual exploitation. Operation H is a prime example of how global collaboration can help all of our countries to protect children.

Quick facts:

  • In fiscal year 2020/21 the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre received 52,306 reports/complaints/requests for assistance for online child sexual exploitation. This was a 510% increase from 2013/14.
  • Across Canada arrests in relation to Operation H were made in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
  • Operation H brought together national and international agencies including Europol, Interpol and the 5 Eyes. In total, 12 countries were involved, resulting in 832 cases investigated and 146 children safeguarded.
  • To learn more about how to help keep children safer online, please visit Cybertip.ca
  • National Child Exploitation Crime Centre

 

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