A man was arrested in Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 4 after an international child exploitation investigation involving at least five victims, including a Lethbridge youth.
The investigation began in Alberta, officials with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) said in a news release on Monday.
Investigators said a 14-year-old Lethbridge boy was the victim of online sexual extortion.
“The suspect met the victim met via an online social media platform and, at first, the victim believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl,” police explained in a news release.
“However, the suspect allegedly coerced the victim into sending sexually explicit photos, which progressed into threats and extortion for more photos.
“Eventually the victim came forward and reported the sextortion to the Lethbridge Police Service in April 2017,” ALERT said.
Lethbridge police worked with ALERT and forensic technicians were able to identify the suspect using information from the victim’s cellphone.
Police in Netherlands arrested a 28-year-old man and charged him with:
- Threatening a minor to commit lewd acts
- Possession of child pornography
- Production of child pornography
- Dissemination of child pornography
Under Dutch privacy laws, the suspect cannot be named.
Since the arrest, National Police Netherlands was able to identify four other victims.
Anyone with information about this investigation or any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.