Victorian man arrested for allegedly arranging overseas child abuse

hand holding handcuffs

A 49-year-old Melbourne man was arrested at a Truganina residence yesterday (15 June 2017) and charged with serious child exploitation offences, following an investigation by the Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET).

The operation began when the AFP received a report related to online child exploitation from the US based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in May 2017. The report contained information that an individual was allegedly making plans on social media to meet with multiple female children aged between 12-to-16, in the Philippines, in order to engage in sexual activity. 

The matter was referred to the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team in Melbourne for further investigation.

The Victorian JACET, involving officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police, executed search warrants at the man’s home in the suburb of Truganina yesterday morning.

Police will allege that child exploitation material contained in electronic devices as well as DVD and magazine material suspected to contain child exploitation material was discovered at the residence.

The man has been charged with procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, contrary to Section 272.14(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and possessing child exploitation material.

AFP Commander Lesa Gale, Manager Victim Based Crime, said investigations like this highlight global realities of child exploitation.

“There are offenders who seek to use privacy and anonymity of the internet to identify and target vulnerable children,” Commander Gale said.

“I commend the work of the JACET, and the strength of the partnership the AFP has with Victoria Police, as they continue to investigate crimes against the most vulnerable in our community.”

Victoria Police Inspector John Manley said this has been a challenging and complex investigation with a very good outcome.

“The result is indicative of the work being done by the Victorian JACET team, which is dedicated to protecting children regardless of where they are,” said Inspector Manley.

The maximum penalty for the offences the man has been charged with is imprisonment for 15 years.

The man is scheduled to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates court today (Friday 16 June 2017).

Note to media: CHILD EXPLOITATION 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.

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