A three-year international investigation into the online sexual abuse of children has resulted in the arrest of over 150 people, including 16 Canadians, police revealed on Thursday.
Project Mercury is a joint investigation between authorities in Canada, the U.S. and eight European countries, including the U.K., France, and Germany.
Since 2014, some 153 people have been arrested. For those convicted, the sentences have ranged from 30 months to 60 years, with many cases still before the courts.
The youngest victim was a 10-month-old. “It’s important to understand that this is happening to children all over the world,” Toronto police Staff Supt. Myron Demkiw said at the press conference on Thursday.
Members from the Toronto police sex crimes unit were joined at police headquarters in downtown Toronto on Thursday by representatives of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, a Saskatchewan RCMP unit and the Ottawa Police Service.