US tip-off leads to Melbourne resident charged with child exploitation offences

hand holding handcuffs

A 25-year-old Malaysian national will face court in Melbourne today, charged with child exploitation offences following a tip-off from a US law enforcement agencies.

The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) arrested the man, after executing a search warrant at a property in Carlton in Melbourne on 21 November 2019.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege the accused engaged in communication with an 11-year-old girl in the United States, exchanging child exploitation material including videos and photographs via social media applications in January 2019.

The incident was reported to US authorities at the Clay County Sherriff’s Office in Florida after the victim’s parent discovered the exchanges on a mobile phone.

The United States Department of Homeland Security then referred the matter to the AFP and an investigation commenced.

The accused has been charged with the following offences:

  • Solicit child pornography contrary to 474.19(1)(a)(iv) Criminal Code
  • Possess child abuse material contrary to 474.22A(1)

The maximum penalty for these offences includes up to 15 years imprisonment.

The man has been bailed to reappear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today (29 November, 2019).

AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling said the arrest was thanks to the cooperation and valuable partnerships Australia shares with its international law enforcement agencies.

“Intelligence sharing is essential to preventing child exploitation and protecting the most vulnerable in our community, while also pursuing and prosecuting child sex offenders,” she said.

“The AFP will not waiver in its commitment to hunting down online offenders targeting and seeking to abuse children.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Note to media: USE OF TERM 'CHILD ABUSE', NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

Use of the phrase "child pornography" 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 captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not "pornography".

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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