November 14, 2013 1:00 pm

Hundreds arrested in international child porn investigation led by Toronto Police

Above: Global’s Lama Nicolas reports on the massive international child porn bust headed up by Toronto Police

TORONTO – An international child pornography investigation headed by the Toronto Police and focusing on an Etobicoke-based distributor has led to the arrest of 341 people and the rescue of at least 386 children.

The multi-year investigation, dubbed Project Spade, has spanned continents and included close cooperation with the United States Postal Service.

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Police  say 50 of those arrested are from Ontario and 58 are from other parts of Canada, which included school teachers, doctors and actors.

It has its roots in a 2011 bust in the Toronto area and has been called unprecedented for its global scope and sheer number of people implicated.

The investigation was focused on Azov Films. The Toronto company that sells DVDs and what it called “naturist” films – which the company’s website argues is perfectly legal.

Authorities say the company had revenues of over $4 million.

The Toronto man at the heart of the investigation was allegedly running a company since 2005.

Brian Way, 42, of Toronto faces 24 charges including possession of child pornography, selling and distributing child pornography and possession of proceeds of crime.

Police allege the man instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from five to 12 years of age, and then distributed the videos to international customers.

The U.S. Postal Service’s side of the investigation has led to a string of arrests south of the border – almost all of men in positions of authority or who work with children.

Watch: Toronto Police announce the arrest of hundreds of suspects in connection with a child porn investigation

© Global News, 2013

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