Child exploitation material lands foreign ship crewmember in hot water

A 26 year old Vietnamese merchant seaman has been stopped from coming ashore after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers located child exploitation material on his mobile phone.

The man arrived at the port of Kwinana, south of Perth, aboard a foreign registered bulk carrier earlier this week.

ABF officers conducting border clearance of the ship’s crew examined the man’s mobile phone during a routine cabin search and discovered a video depicting the sexual exploitation of an under-age girl, in contravention of Reglation4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

Officers seized the phone and subsequently ceased his Maritime Crew Visa (MCV).

The crew member was restricted to the ship until it departed Kwinana for South East Asia yesterday (20 June 2019).

Acting ABF Regional Commander for Western Australia, Felicity Horrocks, said ABF officers were committed to preventing the importation of child exploitation material across our borders and into the Australian community.

“ABF officers regularly detect child exploitation and other abhorrent material at our airports, but this should serve as a warning to visitors who arrive by sea that our workforce, at all ports, are constantly on watch,” Acting Commander Horrocks said.

“ABF officers have significant powers to search the mobile phones and electronic devices of international travellers and they exercise those powers at air and sea gateways around the country on a daily basis.

“Tackling child exploitation is an operational priority for the ABF as part of its role in protecting the border from individuals who may pose a threat to the community.

“There are significant penalties and consequences for the importation of abhorrent material, and in particular child exploitation material, and anyone caught engaging in this behaviour risks forfeiting their right to be here.”

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