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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Manitoba RCMP busts child exploitation ring, rescues three children

Four Arrests Made in Southern Manitoba Communities; RCMP Warns of Prolific Nature of Child Exploitation
Manitoba RCMP busts child exploitation ring (File Photo)

By: Winnipeg Tribune Staff Writer

Winnipeg, April 10, 2024 - The Manitoba RCMP Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit has executed a series of search warrants resulting in four arrests and the rescue of three children under the age of six from situations of sexual abuse and exploitation. The raids, carried out over an eight-day period at the end of March, targeted individuals involved in distributing, uploading, and possessing child pornography in three different southern Manitoba communities.

The RCMP, while withholding the identities of both the suspects and the affected communities to safeguard the privacy of the victims, disclosed that all four individuals apprehended were males aged 37, 40, 42, and 56. Each has been charged with various offenses related to child pornography, with one of the suspects facing an additional charge of producing such material.

Corporal Gord Olson, representing the RCMP ICE Unit, emphasized the significance of these operations in terms of rescuing children from traumatic circumstances. "This is four arrests and three children removed from traumatic situations in a span of only 10 days. I wish I could say that this is a success, and it absolutely is in terms of getting these kids to safety, but it is really a drop in the bucket when it comes to the material we seized," he remarked.

The scale of the material seized during the operations underscores the pervasive nature of child sexual exploitation. Tens of thousands of child pornography images were discovered during the execution of the search warrants, indicating the extent of the problem. "I know people will be surprised at how much child sexual abuse and exploitation material we encountered, but the truth is, this problem is prolific. It is in every community, and so many children are affected by it," Corporal Olson added.

The Manitoba RCMP ICE Unit collaborated closely with the RCMP National Child Exploitation Crime Centre, which provided critical reports aiding in the identification and apprehension of the suspects. However, despite the recent arrests and rescues, the investigations remain ongoing as authorities continue to combat child exploitation in all its forms.

In light of these developments, the RCMP urges parents to remain vigilant about their children's online activities and to engage in conversations about internet safety. "We continue to do everything we can to combat child exploitation and encourage parents to be mindful of how your children are engaging on social media," Corporal Olson emphasized.


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