A 42-year-old Algester man is expected to face Brisbane Magistrate’s Court today (Thursday 22 July 2021) charged by the Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) with possessing child abuse material and destroying evidence.
The investigation began in December 2020 after the Australian Federal Police-led ACCCE received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in relation to a user transmitting 21 unique child abuse images over the platform Kik.
It will be alleged that the man allegedly used a German VPN to conceal his identity, however this appeared to have deactivated or malfunctioned on two separate occasions. Checks returned a result for a telecommunications service registered to the man.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s home on 8 July 2021 by Brisbane JACET, with investigators seizing three mobile telephones. At the time, the man was issued with a court attendance notice for September to answer a number of charges.
Further analysis of these devices revealed the accused accessed and obtained child abuse material (CAM) through Kik and Mega.nz and had a substantial collection of CAM on his Google Photos accounts.
On 12 July 2021, officers from the Brisbane JACET detected man remotely accessing and allegedly erasing data that contained CAM on a device that had been seized on 8 July 2021. Material on this device had already been reviewed and captured by investigators. Officers attended a Jimboomba premises yesterday (Wednesday, 21 July) and arrested him.
The man was charged with:
- Three counts of Possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- One count of destruction of evidence, contrary to section 39(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).
The maximum penalty is 15 and five years’ imprisonment respectively.
AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said this arrest demonstrates the commitment of AFP officers to continue to investigate and monitor offenders after they have been charged with child abuse offences.
“We charge offenders who seek to exploit and harm children and attempt to conceal their actions, and we can guarantee any offender we’ve charged, we are looking at you,” Detective Superintendent Hudson said.
“Possessing or sharing child abuse material, particularly on social media platforms, is part of the problem. It creates the market for child abuse material online, which causes further harm to our community’s most vulnerable – our children – we must not lose sight of the fact that behind every image is a real victim.
“This arrest should serve as a warning that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse and bringing those who commit these offences before the court.”
The AFP-led ACCCE is committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting organised child abuse.
The Centre brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.
Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.