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On Oct. 3, 2019, the girl’s parents came to the ICE Unit, reporting their daughter was being lured online and that the offender was using two social media applications to try to goad her into sexual touching.
The investigation revealed the suspect was a male youth care worker based in Australia. Through Interpol, the ICE Unit was able to contact its counterparts in Australia — the Australian Federal Police Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team — to further the investigation.
Lambie said the Saskatchewan ICE Unit’s portion of the investigation completed in February or March, by which time Australian police were running with it. Australian authorities used Saskatchewan-gathered intel to obtain a search warrant and seize various devices from the suspect. Lambie said analysis of those devices revealed more than 30 victims, and said it’s likely closer to 50 or more will be identified by the time the investigation is complete.
Saskatchewan police don’t yet know the locations of the other child victims.
Lambie said the unit is proud of its work, which reveals in a concrete way how police around the world are combatting offences against children, often by working together.
“It just shows you how small the world is and how somebody in Australia can target children anywhere in the world, even here in Regina,” he said. “The world is so tiny now with the internet … It’s only with this great co-operation to target these offenders and save these kids can this whole system work. This is just incredible, everybody worldwide looking to do the same thing.”
Lambie added that while police and policing partners are necessary in protecting children and stopping predators, parents and guardians have a crucial role to play as well. But for the parents in this case paying attention to their child’s online activities and bringing their concerns to the police, the investigation wouldn’t have started in the first place.
“It has to be the parents really bringing this to the police so we can actually work these files,” Lambie said. “This one was a terrific success, the investigation we did here in Regina.”