Police make several arrests in Quebec child sexual exploitation probe
Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 9:07AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 27, 2016 12:23PM EST
Police say a dozen suspects have been arrested after a years-long child sexual exploitation investigation involving approximately 150 officers.
Quebec's provincial police force Surete du Quebec say the suspects, who range in age from 27 to 74, took part in online discussions about sexual experiences with children and exchanged tips on the best place to meet kids without sparking suspicion.
Exploitation sexuelle - enfants: Une dizaine d’arrestations et de perquisitions ont été réalisées : https://t.co/JnbceXU7DH— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) January 27, 2016
"They would also talk about tactics to use and places to go for the purpose of abusing children without awakening suspicion," Sgt. Joyce Kemp told CTV News Channel on Wednesday morning.
Kemp said the joint operation included the RCMP, Montreal police and other municipal police forces.
The investigation began in 2013, after police received a tip from a member of the public.
Police arrested 10 suspects in Quebec and in two suspects Toronto on Wednesday morning. Investigators also met with five other individuals related to the case, but no further arrests have been made.
Kemp said the joint team to fight child sexual exploitation was formed in 2012.
"Since this investigation team was put together… nearly 350 arrests have been made and thanks to this, dozens of victims have been identified in different cases," she said.
Kemp said investigators are searching the homes of the suspects and computer equipment has been seized from the residences.
Police have not said how many victims were involved in the case.
The suspects are expected to appear in a Montreal courthouse on Wednesday.