Sydney man arrested over links to online child abuse network

A 20-year-old Sydney man is scheduled to appear before the Central Local Court today charged with child abuse offences after an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation allegedly connected him to an online network suspected of producing and sharing child abuse material.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s residence in Randwick yesterday (20 May 2020) by the AFP’s NSW Child Protection Operations team, with assistance from the NSW Police Force’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and members of the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE). During the search warrant, a number of electronic devices were seized for evidentiary purposes.

The 20-year-old was refused bail and will appear before court charged with the following:

  • 1 x possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • 1 x using a carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to section 474.22 Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

It will be alleged AFP investigators linked the man to a national police investigation into an online network allegedly producing and sharing child abuse material.

The investigation began in February 2020 after a tip-off from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Earlier this month, the AFP’s NSW Child Protection Operations Team, together with members of the Queensland Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) and the ACCCE, charged three men with child abuse offences and removed four children from harm.

The 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.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.

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