Ottawa police say seven men and one woman in Ottawa-Gatineau were arrested as part of the largest-ever co-ordinated investigation of Internet-based child sexual abuse in Canada.

"We're making a difference and saving children and that's why we're so committed," said RCMP Sgt. David Fox.

Project Salvo, which involved high-tech investigators from the RCMP, provincial police and various municipal departments, netted 57 people on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and possessing, making and distributing child pornography.

Fox said the Canada-wide investigation resulted in more than 100 criminal charges, the seizure of 130 computers, dozens of computer hard drives, and thousands of computer storage devices and discs.

In Ottawa, six men and one woman were arrested, as was one man in Gatineau.

Those facing charges include Paul Andre Dumais, 33; Richard Contant, 46; Thea Bradford, 38; Robert Desmarais, 40; Donald Etmanskie, 51; Stephane Durocher, 36; and Andrew Burke, 43, all of Ottawa. Patrick Dupuis-Gendron, 26, of Gatineau, was also arrested.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for Michael Kennefick, 22, of Ottawa, who is currently outside the country.

The local suspects face various charges, including possession of child pornography and possession of a substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Police say more search warrants are expected to be executed across the country in the coming weeks.