Police update 3: Operation Uniform Kalahari at Cairns

Child Protection and Investigation Unit (CPIU) detectives have charged a fifth man with child exploitation offences as part of Operation Uniform Kalahari.

On Friday, June 24, CPIU detectives charged a 37-year-old Woree man with a total of 32 offences including six counts of supplying dangerous drugs to a minor 16-years or more, 12 counts of supplying dangerous drugs to a minor under 16-years, 12 counts of wounding, and one count each of indecent treatment of children under 16 and breach of bail.

He appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Saturday, June 25, and was remanded in custody for mention today, June 27.

Operation Uniform Kalahari was established in January to investigate the alleged grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people in the Cairns area.

It is alleged the young girls were groomed, indecently assaulted, and supplied with dangerous drugs including methylamphetamine and cannabis.

To date, detectives have charged five men ranging in age from 42 to 71-years, with a total of 86 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 supplying drugs to a minor under 16, two counts of supplying drugs, two counts of possessing drugs, one count of possessing S4 poison and one count of possessing utensil. He was 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 supplying 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 seven offences including two counts each of supplying 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.

On June 21, a 71-year-old Cairns man was charged with eight offences, including four counts of supplying dangerous drugs to a minor, two counts of wounding and one count each of indecent treatment and grooming.

He was the fourth man to be charged as part of Operation Uniform Kalahari 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.

Cairns District CPIU Officer in Charge Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Gooiker said, “We investigate all reports of offences against children, and acknowledge the courage required by a young person to come forward and make a complaint”.

“Thanks to the bravery of these children in speaking up, we have arrested and charged a number of offenders and put them before the courts, and our investigations are continuing,” Detective Senior Sergeant Gooiker said.

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.

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