Man charged by Strike Force Trawler over online child procurement, NSW

A man will reappear at court today following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives into the alleged procurement of a child online, NSW Police say.

Earlier this year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) commenced an investigation following a referral from the Victoria Police’s Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team.

Police will allege in court that the man had been communicating online with a young girl from Victoria since 2016 and engaged in highly-sexualised conversations.

Strike Force Trawler investigators conducted a covert online investigation and it will be alleged that the man later arrangements to meet the child in person.

Following extensive investigations, a 37-year-old man was arrested by strike force detectives at a beach at Coffs Harbour about 10am on Friday (20 July 2018).

During a search of the man and his vehicle, investigators seized three mobile phones and a computer tablet.

Shortly after the arrest, police executed a search warrant at a home at Stuarts Point, where they seized computers, a laptop, electronic storage devices, and ammunition.

The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with two counts of use carriage service to procure person under 16 years for sex.

He was refused bail and appeared at Coffs Harbour Local Court, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court today (Monday 23 July 2018).

Investigations are continuing.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers.

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