47 men arrested in Vancouver Police sting operation to catch alleged sexual predators

Darya Zargar / January 23, 2019

(Austin Czerwinski/ BCIT News)

A firefighter, a school teacher, and a school trustee are among the 47 men arrested in a Vancouver Police operation targeting alleged sexual predators.

On Wednesday at around 10:30am Deputy Chief Laurence Rankin made an announcement regarding a recent operation by the Counter Exploitation Unit.

According to police the investigation started last year,  detectives posted several advertisements on various social media posing as teenage girls and offered sexual services.

Once they had contacted an alleged predator via text the detectives acting as 15 to 17 years of age, would coax them into a hotel and arrest the men.

Rankin said what shocked him the most wasn’t the fact that the predators ranged in occupations, but that he didn’t have enough officers to nab all of them.

Rankin said that the 47 men contacted were all across the Metro Vancouver area.

“These projects were identifying, arresting and seeking criminal charges against predators who were actively seeking to have sex with teenagers.” – Deputy Chief Lauren Rankin, Vancouver Police

The Crown has only charged seven men. Rankin expects that the other charges should occur with in the next couple months.

“We’re looking potentially hundreds of chat streams that were occuring on the social media platforms with the police officers that were posing as teenage girls…You couldn’t, they had to turn down some people because they didn’t have time given the shifts and the number of days that were dedicated to this investigation.” – Deputy Chief Lauren Rankin, Vancouver Police

He added that some of the predators that detectives contacted didn’t show up to the meetings and other individuals “gained sexual gratification just by texting the teenage girls.”

Rankin revealed that once the men realized, or believed they were speaking with an minor they were “more excited.”

Vancouver Police said they will not reveal the names of the alleged predators as many of the men haven’t been charged before the court.

With files from Austin Czerwinski