RCMP and municipal police arrested 11 men across the province, including four from the Lower Mainland, as part of a nationwide child pornography investigation, Mounties said Thursday.
The victims, said RCMP Const. Rosiane Racine of the Integrated Child Exploitation Team, were boys and girls ranging in age from 17 to infants, “some with the umbilical cord still attached.”
Police raided 15 houses in B.C from Victoria to Fort St. John as part of “Project Salvo,” Canada’s largest-ever co-ordinated investigation into Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse.
Across the country, 50 people were arrested for possessing and exchanging child-porn images online.
“These are not just pictures,” said Racine. “These are crime scene photos with real children, real victims.
“These children are victims of sexual abuse, rape, violence, torture and humiliation.”
The images, Racine said, stay online forever and the child is re-victimized every time they are viewed, shared or downloaded.
Police would not discuss specifics of Project Salvo, but said it focused on people who would meet online with like-minded individuals to exchange images.
All 11 B.C. men have been released from custody and charge recommendations have been forwarded to Crown counsel.