The New South Wales Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NSW JACET) has charged a 41-year-old Sydney man who allegedly distributed child abuse material online.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) NSW JACET investigators began inquiries into the man’s online activities in late 2019, after he was identified as a potential target during the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation’s (ACCCE) national Operation Soutien targeting the online exploitation of children.
Police investigations revealed a 41-year-old Prestons, NSW man had allegedly shared child abuse material, and was suspected to be possession of more files containing exploitative content.
The man was arrested at Sydney International Airport by NSW JACET investigators this morning (4 February 2020), when he returned from an overseas trip and his mobile devices were seized. An initial examination of the phone identified suspected child abuse material. Further forensic examination is ongoing.
Investigators subsequently executed a search warrant at the man’s residence in Preston to seize further evidentiary material.
The man was taken to Sydney Police Centre where he was charged. He appeared via video link at Sydney Central Local Court this afternoon, where he was refused bail in relation to the following charges:
- Use a carriage service to transmit and make available child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
- Possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for each of these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
The man was also charged with intentionally importing tier 2 goods, namely child abuse material, into Australia, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
AFP Manager ACCCE & Crimes Against Children Marina Simoncini said sadly, the global demand for child exploitation material is increasing and international borders are no hindrance to online predators.
“The AFP is committed to working with its state and international partners to take all necessary action to protect children in Australia and internationally from sexual exploitation,” she said.
“Anyone who accesses or shares child abuse material is supporting a pervasive and vile industry and your actions are criminal.
“This arrest should serve as a warning that you are not anonymous online and we are dedicated to tracking you down and bringing you to justice.”