Child Protection and Investigation Unit (CPIU) detectives established Operation Uniform Kalahari to extensively investigate the alleged grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people in the Cairns area since January this year.
It will be alleged the young girls, were groomed, indecently assaulted, and supplied with dangerous drugs including methylamphetamine and cannabis.
To date, detectives have charged four men ranging in age from 42 to 71-years, with a total of 54 charges.
On June 5, a 56-year-old Cairns man was charged with a total of 25 offences including one count of grooming, six counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16, one count of attempt to procure indecent treatment, 11 counts of supply drugs to a minor under 16, two counts of supply drugs, 2 counts of possess drugs, one count of possess S4 poison and one count of possess utensil. He is remanded in custody to reappear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on August 3.
On June 9, a 67-year-old Cairns man was arrested and charged with a total of 14 offences including five counts of supply dangerous drugs to a minor, three counts of wounding, two counts each of indecent treatment of children under 16-years and grooming a child under 16-years, one count each of rape and sexual assault. He appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on June 10 and was remanded in custody to reappear on August 17.
The following day, detectives charged a 42-year-old Cairns man with a total of 7 offences including two counts each of supply to minor, wounding, indecent treatment and one count of rape. He appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on June 11 and was remanded in custody to reappear on August 17.
This week, a 71-year-old Cairns man was charged with eight offences, including four counts of supply dangerous drug to a minor, two counts of wounding and one count each of indecent treatment and grooming.
He is the fourth man to be charged as part of Operation Uniform Kalahari to date and appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Wednesday, June 22. He was remanded in custody to reappear on August 17.
Police and other support services are committed to providing assistance to the young people involved and their families.
Anyone with information or who believes they or someone they know may have been impacted, are urged to come forward as investigations remain ongoing.
Officer in Charge of the Cairns District CPIU Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Gooiker said protecting vulnerable young people is the top priority for the Queensland Police Service (QPS).
“We continue to investigate all reports of offences against children, arrest and charge alleged offenders within the full force of the law,” Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Gooiker said.
“I cannot commend how much these children have shown immense bravery, to speak up and report to police, which ultimately allows us to track down offenders and prosecute them.”
Resources and advice
- eSafety Commissioner a key partner of the QPS in enhancing online safety, with a comprehensive suite of information, resources and reporting tools to ensure children have a safe experience online.
- Who’s chatting to your kids? Further QPS advice and information about reducing online risks for children.
- Out of the dark #doiknowu a campaign by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) supported by the QPS and Department of Education, providing resources to help young people stay safe online.
- Think U Know is a partnership between Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, Microsoft, State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It provides information on topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and what to do when something goes wrong.
If you’ve experienced sexual assault, it is not your fault and you are not alone. There are multiple ways to report what has happened to you depending on your situation.
If there’s an immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000). You can also report online via: https://forms.police.qld.gov.au/launch/SexualAssault, over the phone or face to face at a police station.
There are also Alternative Reporting Options available depending on your situation.