Five people have been charged in a what OPP and Toronto Police call an online ‘big box store’ of child pornography.
Beginning in October of 2012 with a complaint to the Toronto Police Service, Project GREENWELL began with a complaint to Toronto Police in October 2012. It became a complex, multi-national criminal investigation that first looked at those who uploaded and downloaded images and video files servers were housed at a business in Toronto known as YesUp Media.
A subsequent investigation – Project BLACKHEATH – targeted the operators of the business who knowingly facilitated the sharing of these images for profit. There were 60,000 registered users in at least 116 different countries and at least 19,013 users purchased 30-day premium memberships.
“I’m proud of the leadership being demonstrated to address the web hosts and administrators who – in Canada – have a legal duty and a responsibility to respond when they are made aware that illegal content is being trafficked through their infrastructure. Not only have police reduced the number of ‘customers’ who abuse children online, we’ve removed the platform that held their monstrous content.”– Commissioner Thomas CARRIQUE, Ontario Provincial Police
Inspector Tina Chalk, Manager of the OPP Counter Exploitation and Missing Person Section, has issued a call to action to the public. “The fight against child sexual abuse imagery, continues every day in Ontario by hundreds of officers and civilian members. The community has the ability to help, too. For years the OPP has partnered with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection – operators of Cybertip.ca, where anyone can report child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. I encourage everyone to visit www.protectchildren.ca and arm themselves with the knowledge to help detect and prevent the sexual exploitation of children.”
The accused are from Aurora, Richmond Hill and Toronto. They have been released with undertakings from the court, including surrendering their passports, remaining within the province of Ontario, and prohibitions from engaging in a business or enterprise with any party that has been the subject of a complaint with respect to child pornography.
images via Ontario Provincial Police