More than 100 men arrested in York Region human trafficking probe

Police say parents and guardians must monitor children’s activities online or they may fall prey to pimps

Police say parents and guardians must monitor children’s activities online or they may fall prey to pimps

York Regional Police sex crimes investigators say they have posed as pimps and traffickers online to ensnare more than 100 men accused of seeking sex with minors.

"All of the men that were arrested were arrested for essentially attempting to purchase prostituted children".

In a news release Thursday, police said they completed a multi-year operation that resulted in the arrests.

"We stopped 104 men from purchasing 104 children", Det Sgt Thai Truong said during a press conference on Friday.

Most of the arrests took place in York Region but the men who were arrested came from across the GTA and outside of Ontario, police said.

He says child sex trafficking is a growing problem in Canada.

The investigation, dubbed Project Raphael, lasted four years.

Troung says when someone inquired about the ads, officers would indicate they had children available as well.

Police had tried to help the young people, providing services or reuniting them with family members, he said.

So far, 35 of the 104 have pleaded guilty or confessed, leading to prison terms of three to seven months.

Numerous girls showed signs of physical abuse, PC Truong said.

Five cases of the 104 were withdrawn.

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