ABF wraps up National Child Protection Week with arrest in Sydney

A 23-year-old Heckenberg man has been arrested after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers detected a child-like sex doll in an air cargo consignment in Sydney.

The arrest comes during National Child Protection week, a campaign held annually across Australia to raise awareness of child abuse prevention.

Preventing the importation of child abuse material, including childlike sex dolls and child abuse material found on digital devices at the border, is an operational priority for the Australian Border Force (ABF).

On 28 July 2021 ABF officers at an air cargo facility in Sydney intercepted a package declared as a clothes mannequin, further examination of the package revealed it contained a child-like sex doll.

The detection was referred to ABF Investigators, who executed a Customs Act search warrant at a home in Heckenberg NSW on 08 September 2021.

During the course of the warrant, Investigators located and seized a number of mobile electronic devices which will undergo further digital forensic examination.

The man was arrested and charged with the alleged importation of tier 2 goods, namely a child-like sex doll.

The man was granted conditional bail and is scheduled to next appear in Liverpool Local Court on 29 September 2021.

ABF Commander Enforcement East, Justin Bathurst said the ABF is committed to detecting these dolls at the border, investigating, and prosecuting those who seek to import this kind of abhorrent material into our community.

“These dolls sexualise children, they are not harmless and do not prevent people from offending in the future,” Commander Bathurst said.

“Protecting the most vulnerable members of our community is a priority for the ABF and raising awareness of this during National Child Protection Week will provide further education and information about reporting child exploitation matters.”

“The ABF is works closely with international partners and industry to assist in the detection and deterrence of these items.”

“Childlike sex dolls are anatomically correct, life size imitations of children and are designed for sexual pleasure. They are prohibited to import or possess in Australia. Often the consignments include with the childlike sex doll, instructions on how to utilise the item and accessories such as clothing often children’s size and blankets with cartoon characters or patterns of interest to children. “

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has seized a total of 226 childlike sex dolls and/or parts in the 2020- 2021 financial year, exceeding the 138 seized in the year before.

The majority of the consignments were sent to Australia from locations including mainland China, Japan and Hong Kong. The dolls were being shipped to postal addresses across Australia.

Members of the public with information about people importing prohibited goods, can report them to Border Watch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch

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