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Three arrested in joint Kingston Police-OPP child exploitation investigation

A “joint, proactive investigation” involving the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Kingston Police Force has resulted in the arrest of three men in relation to child exploitation. Two of the arrested men are from the Kingston area.

Kingstonist file photo.

According to both the OPP and Kingston Police, the investigation took place over four days at the beginning of last fall, from Monday, Sept. 20 to Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. The investigation, known to police as Project Clovelly, “focused on identifying persons actively luring children on social media for sexual purposes,” Kingston Police said in a press release on Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022.

Six investigators from the OPP and Kingston Police employed undercover techniques to access online chat rooms and social media applications “designed for children” to identify, locate, and arrest persons “looking to exploit children in the Kingston area,” Kingston Police shared.

In total, the three men arrested through the investigation have been charged with 10 criminal offences.

Kingston Police shared the following details of the project:

  • Two individuals were arrested when they showed up to a pre-set location to meet a child for sexual purposes.
  • The third individual was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, after a variety of techniques were employed to identify the accused.
  • One of the suspects traveled from Toronto to Kingston and rented a hotel room in order to sexually abuse a child.
  • The accused men range in age from 31 to 40.

“While Project Clovelly successfully led to the arrest of three individuals and ten charges being laid, it is a stark reminder of how easily predators can target and sexually exploit our children online, even in the safety of their own homes. Through key partners such as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, educational resources, training and supports are available to our communities and are key ways in which we can help reduce victimization and protect our children,” Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely said in a statement.

“I wish to thank the members of Ontario’s Internet Child Exploitation units for their unwavering dedication and ongoing work in this important area.”

The following are the three men arrested and charged through Project Clovelly, as well as a list of the charges laid against each respectively.

Scott Davis, 35, of Perth, was charged with:

  • Internet luring
  • Making sexually explicit material available to a person under 16
  • Indecent exposure to a person under 16

Salah Hassanpour, 40, of Toronto, was charged with:

  • Two counts of internet luring
  • Transmitting sexually explicit material to a child under 16

Andrew David Lee Whan, 31, of Verona, was charged with:

  • Two counts of internet luring
  • Attempts to make child pornography
  • Attempted sexual interference

“Every day, appalling actions are taken by predators against the most vulnerable in our society: our children. Ontario’s Internet Child Exploitation units work tirelessly to address and prevent this crime from occurring,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique in a statement.

“Proactive investigations, such as the OPP and Kingston Police’s Project Clovelly, are vital in intercepting predators who prey on children and expose their crime in an effort to ensure they never harm children again.”

Kingston Police could not immediately say whether or not the three men remain in police custody. Kingstonist will update this article if/when more information becomes available.

The following is a joint message from the OPP and Kingston Police:

“The OPP, Kingston Police and Ontario’s Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet police partners have noted a significant increase in the number of calls for service that has forced investigators to reactively respond to child sexual exploitation investigations. Experience demonstrates that luring offenders often target a multitude of victims at the same time. Predators go where children go; therefore, it is imperative that parents and caregivers are aware of what their children do online.

If you believe a child is in danger, always call 911. If you have information related to child sexual exploitation, contact your local police, in this case Kingston Police (613-549-4660 ext. 0). If you reside in an OPP jurisdiction, please call the non-emergency number (1-888-310-1122). You can also report to cybertip.ca. To learn how to keep children safe, go to Canadian Centre for Child Protection.”

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