A New South Wales man has been charged with several child exploitation offences following his arrest by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers yesterday morning (Wednesday 22 April).
The 29-year-old man was taken to Cessnock Police Station for charging yesterday and is due to face Newcastle Local Court today (Thursday 23 April).
The investigation began in November 2019 when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a referral from the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding an Australian user transmitting child abuse material via a cloud-based service.
Subsequent police inquiries by the ACCCE and AFP Child Protection Operations identified a New South Wales man as the alleged user of the service.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s residence yesterday (22 April) where he was arrested. Several electronic items were seized during the warrant and will be subject to further forensic examination.
The man has been charged with;
- One count of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth.)
- One count of production of child abuse material, contrary to section 91G of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 and 14 years’ imprisonment respectively.
AFP Commander Investigations Eastern Command, Kirsty Schofield, said the arrest was a cumulative effort that demonstrated the AFP’s commitment to stamping out child exploitation in the Australian community.
“No matter the circumstances, our investigators and analysts are always ready to step up and help catch these offenders and stop them from preying on the young and vulnerable members of our community.” Commander Schofield said.
The ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.
The Centre brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.
You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.
Vision from this operation can be downloaded from the link below: