Media Release: Operation rescues two children, eleven men arrested
Release Date: Wednesday, June 15 2011, 06:16 AM
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has uncovered an online network that had allegedly been sharing child abuse images, charging 11 men in a nationwide operation.
The AFP also identified two children at risk during the operation who have been removed from harm.
The AFP’s Child Protection Operations teams have executed search warrants across four Australian states, arresting men between the ages of 18 and 67.
It will be alleged they were accessing the illegal images via a file sharing network.
The AFP has seized storage devices, including hard drives, USBs and laptop computers as well as routers. The storage devices are alleged to contain hundreds of child abuse images.
The men have been charged with offences relating to using a carriage service to access, transmit and posses child exploitation material. These offences carry maximum penalties of between 10 and 15 years imprisonment.
One of the individuals was also charged with having sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years, contrary to Section 66A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14, contrary to Section 66C(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). These offences carry the maximum penalties of 20 years or life imprisonment.
The investigation began four months ago, with AFP investigators using a covert account to identify those who were accessing the images.
AFP Manager High Tech Crime Investigations Grant Edwards said the AFP would continue to investigate links to this network.
“The AFP is actively involved in pursuing those who seek to harm and exploit children online,” Commander Edwards said.
“This operation shows that if you access child sexual abuse images you will be investigated, charged and could face serious prison terms.
The images accessed are of real children being abused and it’s a shocking thing.”
The AFP is committed to combating the exploitation of children and takes the crimes of creating, possessing and distributing child abuse material very seriously.
Further information on internet safety is available from http://www.thinkuknow.org.au.
Anyone that has information on suspicious activity is to urged to contact state or territory police.
Breakdown of the 11 arrests by state:
AFP National Media Team
Phone: (02) 6131 6333
Note to media: Images and video is available via the AFP Extranet.
CHILD ABUSE IMAGES, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’
Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually benefits child sex abusers:
It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser
It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.
This is not pornography.