Man arrested for allegedly selling child abuse material online

A 25-year-old foreign national is scheduled to appear before Sydney Central Local Court today (Tuesday, 9 April) charged with allegedly administrating a child exploitation website and selling child exploitation material online.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) began investigating the man, who has been in Australia since November 2018, following a referral received by the AFP’s Child Protection Assessment Centre (CPAC) from the United States-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Initial enquiries completed by the CPAC team identified the 25-year-old and the matter was then referred to the AFP NSW Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team which commenced an extensive investigation into the man’s online activities.

The AFP will allege the man was the administrator of a dedicated child exploitation website which has been operating since at least 2017, which sold sexually abusive material of children to users around the world for profit.

Police believe the man used the profits from the sale of this exploitation material to fund his lifestyle, including his travel to and around Australia.

A search warrant was executed in the Sydney suburb of Haymarket, NSW yesterday (Monday, 8 April) where the man was arrested and charged with the following offences:

  • Supply child pornography through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.20 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment;
  • Deal with proceeds of crime –more than $,1000, contrary to section 400.7  of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment;
  • One count of possession of child abuse material, contrary to section 91H of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) - which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar said the case highlights how cooperation across agencies led to the arrest of a man allegedly exploiting children for his own financial gain.

“The strength of law enforcement partnerships across all corners of the globe means the net around those who seek to inflict harm on vulnerable children is tightening more than ever,” Detective Sergeant Dunbar said.

“The relationship between the AFP and NCMEC has not only dismantled an abhorrent child exploitation website; with our partnerships we will continue to pursue those who have purchased material from this website for their own sexual gratification.”

As part of the investigation, action has commenced to shut down the overseas-hosted website.

Police activity in relation to other users of this website remains ongoing, and further arrests have not been ruled out.

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