Man charged over child abuse material

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have arrested and charged a 73 year-old man for allegedly importing child abuse material into Australia.

On 13 September 2020, the Australian citizen returned to Sydney from the United States. ABF officers at Sydney airport were on alert for his possible possession of child exploitation material, and conducted an examination of his baggage.

The man’s laptop was held for further examination, before he was escorted to a hotel in Sydney’s CBD to begin his mandatory COVID-19 quarantine period.

During a forensic examination of the laptop, ‘category 1’ objectionable material was located.

Yesterday, 27 September 2020, ABF investigators, assisted by NSW Police Force officers, executed a search warrant at the Sydney hotel where the man was staying. Officers arrested the man and seized an electronic device.

He has been charged with the importation of Regulation 4A material in contravention of s233BAB(5) of the Customs Act. This offence carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

ABF NSW Regional Investigations Superintendent Garry Low said the ABF will not tolerate people trying to bring this abhorrent material into Australia.

“Tackling child abuse is an important part of the ABF’s role in protecting Australia from individuals who may pose a threat to the community,” Superintendent Low said.

“Our officers are highly skilled at identifying people at our airports who are or carrying this abhorrent material and they face severe penalties when they are caught.”

The man has been refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court on Friday 2 October.

People with information about the importation and export of child abuse material should contact BorderWatch at www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia.

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