Serious misuse of mobile phone sees sex offender deported

A 46-year-old Finnish man will be liable for removal from Australia after downloading and distributing thousands of disturbing child exploitation material from mobile phones while in immigration detention.

Mr Tapani Henrik Hakkinen was already a serial offender when he pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material in the Brisbane District Court yesterday (6 August 2020).

The discovery of over 5,855 images and 222 videos on mobile phones, was made at the Brisbane Immigration Detention Centre. Mr Hakkinen was interviewed and charged by Queensland Police, who also seized his mobile phones.

Mr Haikkinen had only been in immigration detention for approximately 4 months, after serving 21 months in jail for previous child exploitation material offences.

Detention Operations Commander Graeme Grosse said this is a perfect example of the need for the Prohibiting Items Bill currently before Parliament.

“We have evidence mobile phones have been misused for a number of illegal and inappropriate situations, these include escape efforts, movement of contraband, grooming of children and other child exploitation offences such as this one”, Commander Grosse said.

“The power to search for and seize mobile phones, and other items that support criminal activity, is essential to maintain the good order of immigration detention facilities, safety and security of detainees, staff, visitors and the broader community.”

Between July 2016 and the end of July 2020, there have been 599 reports of mobile phone misuse by detainees.

Detainees who may have their mobile phones seized will continue to have access to other communication means such as landline phones, the internet, fax and postal services, however our main priority is to deter and disrupt criminal and high risk behaviour across immigration detention facilities in Australia.

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