A 30 year-old Japanese tourist has been arrested and charged after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers allegedly found a large amount of child exploitation material on his mobile phone at Perth International Airport.
ABF officers selected the man for a baggage examination after he arrived on a flight from Tokyo on Saturday night (2 November).
During the examination of his mobile phone officers located more than 200 video files and images.
Due to the large number of videos investigators reviewed only a small selection, which it will be alleged were found to depict the sexual abuse or exploitation of children.
The remainder of those files, and approximately 300 more videos on a separate application on the phone, will undergo digital forensic examination in the coming weeks.
The man’s visa was cancelled and his phone seized. ABF Investigators arrested and charged him with the following:
◦One count of attempting to Import a Prohibited Import being Tier 2 goods (Child Abuse Material) under s.233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901.
He appeared in the Perth Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Sunday, 3 November) and was remanded in custody to reappear in the same court on Friday, 29 November 2019.
ABF Regional Commander for Western Australia, Rod O’Donnell, issued a warning to all travellers that the possession of abhorrent child exploitation material is viewed very seriously under Australian law.
“Tackling child exploitation in particular 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,” Commander O’Donnell said.
“ABF officers have significant powers under the Customs Act to search the mobile phones and electronic devices of international travellers and they exercise those powers at airports around the country on a daily basis.”
The maximum penalty for the import or export of child exploitation material is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $525,000.