Man arrested in Tajikistan for child abuse material following international investigation

Child_Exploitation

This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and the General Prosecutor’s Office of Tajikistan

A Tajikistan man was arrested recently for alleged child sex offences under the Tajikistan Criminal Code following an international investigation initiated by the AFP.

The investigation began in April 2022, when members of the AFP Victim Identification Team (VIT) located an explicit child abuse video on the dark web.

The AFP VIT working with members of Queensland Police Service (QPS) Argos, linked the man to a number of online child abuse images involving an estimated more than 30 victims, dating back to 2014.

The Australian investigators linked the alleged offending to a location in Tajikistan.

In July 2022, the AFP shared intelligence with the General Prosecutors Office in Tajikistan who were able to identify the man and commenced an investigation.

Tajik authorities recently arrested the man and he was charged with allegations relating to sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 and other relevant offences.

The joint-operational efforts, as coordinated by AFP Islamabad, demonstrates the value and strength of international partnerships within the AFP International Network.

The significant outcome is another example of the strong cooperation between Australian and Tajikistan authorities and our joint commitment to combat international child abuse and exploitation.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling said the investigation highlighted how closely police around the world worked together to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.

“Child abuse offending is often a global crime, particularly when perpetrated over the internet. This investigation shows how effective law enforcement cooperation is when identifying offenders in different parts of the world.”

 “The work of General Prosecutors Office of Tajikistan to swiftly act to identify and arrest the alleged offender is highly commendable.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.

An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE 'Closing The Net' is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a 'whole-of-community' response.

The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Note to media:

Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
  • conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

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