Child-like sex doll vendor shut down by Alibaba.com

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has worked alongside e-commerce marketplace Alibaba.com to shut down an offshore vendor selling childlike sex dolls into Australia.

As part of ongoing efforts to disrupt the sale and purchase of these products, the ABF collected information during a warrant executed in Brisbane on 12 August 2020, and was able to identify a vendor that was operating on Alibaba.com. The ABF worked closely with Alibaba.com to shut down the online storefront of the vendor, closing their major sales point.

The number of childlike sex dolls being imported into Australia poses a significant concern for the ABF. Since July 2020, the ABF has seized 36 childlike sex dolls at the border. To compound these serious concerns, operational activity regularly locates evidence linked to other offences of child exploitation.

ABF Superintendent Regional Investigations Queensland Amanda Coppleman said the activity was significant, as it was the first time the ABF worked with an e-commerce site to shut down a vendor selling childlike sex dolls.

“Online e-commerce sites like Alibaba.com play a role in eliminating the supply of these childlike sex dolls and have the ability to shut down vendors. The fight against child exploitation is an ongoing and evolving one – but each successful achievement is an important milestone”.

“We are pleased with our ongoing cooperation with Alibaba.com, which demonstrates their commitment to the idea that their marketplace is not an acceptable platform for these products,” Superintendent Coppleman said.

When Alibaba.com was notified of listings violating its platform policies, a spokesperson said the company acted to remove them and implemented a number of additional measures to prevent these items from being re-listed.

“We maintain a robust product listing policy that prohibits the listing of any items by third party sellers depicting or suggestive of sex involving minors. Third-party sellers in breach of the policy would be subject to our disciplinary measures,” an Alibaba.com spokesperson said.

Investigations into the matter are ongoing with individuals facing a potential 10 year jail term under the Customs Act 1901 if convicted of importing a childlike sex doll. Individual states and territory laws, as well as other Federal legislation, have strong measures against possession and importation.

Anyone in the community with information about child abuse material or related activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit a confidential crime report via www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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