A 52-year-old Sydney man is expected to appear in Sydney Central Local Court today (Wednesday, 28 July 2021) charged with child abuse offences.
The Australian Federal Police investigation began late last week, as a result of information provided by Facebook to the USA-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a user of an Australian Internet Protocol (IP) address allegedly sharing child abuse material online.
The tip-off was passed to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) on 22 July and soon after, the AFP commenced planning for an operation to target the alleged offender.
Members of the AFP’s Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team executed a search warrant in Mt Druitt yesterday (27 July 2021), where a 52-year-old man was living.
Investigators seized a number of electronic devices, which will be subject to further forensic examination.
It will be alleged in court that the man shared child abuse material through social media.
He was charged with using a carriage service for child abuse material – aggravated offence involving conduct on 3 or more occasions and 2 or more people, contrary to section 474.24A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is 30 years’ imprisonment.
AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Amanda Thompson said sharing child abuse material online fuels the demand for horrific acts to be committed against children.
“Our officers are passionate about protecting children from being re-victimised and experiencing further harm. Our commitment is unwavering – even in the midst of lockdowns the Sydney region is facing, we are still working each day to protect children,” Detective Acting Sergeant said.
The ACCCE 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.