NSW man arrested, allegedly caught with about 200 files of child abuse material


Editor’s Note: Footage of the arrest is available via hightail.

A 22-year-old man is expected to face Cowra Local Court today (Wednesday, 8 September 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences by Australian Federal Police.

An investigation, known as Operation Barosso, began after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received reports from the US. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a Google account used to allegedly upload child abuse material to Snapchat, Discord and Dropbox.

AFP enquiries identified a 22-year-old man from Weddin Shire in the Central West of New South Wales as the alleged user of the Google account.

Investigators from AFP Child Protection Operations executed search warrants at the man's home yesterday (Tuesday, 7 September 2021).

During the operational activity, police seized a mobile phone which was forensically examined and found to allegedly contain approximately 200 files of child abuse material, discussions about the abuse of children and sexualised chats on Snapchat with a person aged under 16.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to person under 16 years of age, contrary to section 474.27A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said child sex predators can easily target children through social media platforms.

“We encourage parents to know what social media platforms their child is using and implement preventative measures to protect them from child sex predators,” Det. Supt. Bellis said.

“Some tips include having the privacy settings of your child’s social media account set to ‘friends only’ or ‘private’ to ensure they are not contacted by someone wanting to do them harm, and turning off any location settings that could show where your child has been, where they go to school and even where they live.”

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 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

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

Note to media:


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.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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