VicPD make two arrests in separate cases of online child exploitation
Victoria police say two men have been arrested in separate investigations into internet child exploitation.
The first investigation was launched after West Shore RCMP received information of potential child luring over the internet.
While the victim lived on the West Shore, the 61-year-old suspect was determined to be living in Esquimalt.
VicPD's Internet Child Exploitation unit began investigating the man's online activity and officers executed a warrant at his property on Nov. 14.
Police have recommended multiple charges against the man including luring a child under 16 years old, making child pornography, luring a child under 14 years old, making sexually explicit material available to a child, agreement or arrangement for sexual offence against a child, distribution of child pornography and counselling sexual interference that was not committed.
"He was looking for a child to sexually abuse as well as a relationship with the mother of the child," said Det. Mark MacPhail. "In order to have access to the child, he would get a relationship with the mother, and that was the crux of the first investigation."
In an unusual twist, the charges of making child pornography relate to literature and police say no images were seized.
The man has since been released from custody on a promise to appear in court, with multiple conditions upon his release.
The second investigation of child exploitation began on Nov. 1.
Police say they identified a 28-year-old man who expressed that he wanted to sexually abuse a child.
A covert officer set up a meeting with the man on Nov. 8. When he arrived at an apartment building, he was met with several officers and taken into custody.
The man has been identified by investigators as Gurpreet Singh, who faces one charge of luring a child under 16 years old. Upon his arrest investigators determined he had been residing in Canada illegally since 2014.
Police say they're working with Canada Border Services Agency to determine his status.
Both cases involved suspects using a social media platform, with police posing as someone on those platforms.
Police are warning parents to keep a close eye on their children's online activities. A Special Victims Unit says it is engaged in at least 20 investigations similar to the two announced Thursday.