Vancouver police say 47 men have been arrested following a two-month operation in 2018, targeting people willing to purchase sexual services from youth.
All of the arrests took place between June and November of 2018, and included men from “all walks of life.”
They include a school trustee, a teacher, and a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang, according to police. Another man who was arrested but has not yet been charged is a firefighter.
The school trustee and the teacher are among seven of the men charged, but police did not reveal any identifying details or what school district they work in.
However, the B.C. Prosecution Service has released the names of the seven men:
- Mario Celo Amistad: Next appearance Jan. 30, 2019 for arraignment hearing
- Jim Malmros: Next appearance Jan 30, 2019 to fix a date
- Jun Jie He: Next appearance Jan 30, 2019 for arraignment hearing.
- Nikolaos Dais: Next appearance Jan 30, 2019 for arraignment hearing
- Donald Schroeder: Next appearance Jan 31, 2019 to consult counsel
- Kenneth Clement: Next appearance 29, Oct 2019 For trial
- Mehran Arefi: Next appearance is Jan. 28, 2019 to fix a date
The men have been charged with considering buying the sexual services of a person under 18 years old and were allegedly lured to a room under the guise of meeting an underage girl for sex.
Ken Clement was a former school board trustee. He resigned ahead of the municipal election in June, 2018, citing personal reasons.
In a statement to media on Wednesday the Vancouver School Board said it just learned one of the people arrested was a former trustee.
“The district was not made aware of the arrest and was never notified by the VPD,” the statement read. “The former trustee resigned in June. This is extremely troubling, however for details about the investigation timeline and release of information, please contact the VPD or the Crown.”
Another of the men charged is Nik Dais, a former teacher at Little Flower Academy, an all-girls private Catholic school Global News has confirmed.
LFA principal Diane Little said Dais had retired, and said while she couldn’t give a date of retirement, that he hadn’t taught at the school this year.
She said the learned of the allegations from the media, but was fully willing to cooperate with police on the matter should the need arise.
“I can confirm that we had a teacher by the name of Nik Dais but have no idea if it’s the same person,” Little said in an email. “The school was not contacted or notified in any way or at any time by the VPD.”
According to the school website, Dais served as head coach of the Grade 8 basketball team from at least 2016 to 2018.
Police are working with Crown counsel on the other 40 men who were arrested and still face charges.
Police say detectives posted decoy advertisements on web escort listings and social media platforms and the men who were arrested allegedly believed they were corresponding with a 15- to 17-year-old girl.
“The safety of our youth is a priority for the VPD,” Laurence Rankin, Deputy Chief Const of the Vancouver police said. “Last year, our detectives led an operation designed to prevent the exploitation of youth. It resulted in the arrest of a significant number of men, from all walks of life.”
“I want to make it clear that these projects were not about sexual activity between two consenting adults. The suspects were actively seeking sex with teenagers,” Rankin added. “Police will continue to focus their attention on those willing to prey on and exploit young boys and girls.”
Rankin said there were 25 officers involved in each take-down, each night.
Police say this is only the “tip of the iceberg.”