More than 300 people, including teachers, doctors and priests have been arrested worldwide on child pornography charges.
It follows a three-year investigation into Toronto-based company Azovfilms.com that distributed child porn.
Of the 348 arrested, 108 were in Canada, 76 in the United States and 164 in other countries from Spain to Australia. They included 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, 32 people who volunteered with children, six police officers, nine priests, and three foster parents, according to the head of Toronto's Sex Crimes Unit. Among the people who investigators say posted the illegal pornographic content was a youth baseball team coach in the US state of Washington, who allegedly made more than 500 films. A school employee in Georgia, USA is accused of putting a camera in a student changing room to capture students' genitals on tape, says the US Postal Inspection Service, which helped examine the website's database.
In total more than 350,000 photos and 9,000 videos containing images of child sex abuse were discovered by investigators.
The investigation also led to the rescue of 386 children by 30 police forces around the world. Most of those children were pre-pubescent.
The Azovfilms.com website, which had a turnover of more than four million dollars (2.97 million euros), came under investigation in October 2010 and has now been shut down. It's owner, a 42-year-old Canadian named Brian Way, was arrested last May. His lawyer has declined to comment.
Following a separate investigation led by international children's rights group Terre Des Hommes, it emerged this week that the details of around 1,000 suspected paedophiles have been passed on to Interpol after they requested webcam sex acts from what they thought to be a 10-year-old Filipino girl. She was in fact a computer-generated trap for sexual predators named "Sweetie" who was created by Terre Des Hommes. In the ten weeks she spent online offering to perform sexual acts in exchange for money, she was contacted by around 20,000 internet users.
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