WA man charged with possessing child abuse material

This is a joint media release between Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force

A 31-year-old Armadale man is expected to face court today (Friday 18 June 2021), charged with child abuse-related offences by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET).

The arrest was part of a nationwide criminal investigation, Operation Molto, coordinated by the AFP’s Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), which investigates offenders using a cloud storage platform to share abhorrent child abuse material.

An investigation into this matter started after the ACCCE received several reports from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding child abuse material being uploaded to online platforms.

WA JACET, which comprises AFP and Western Australia Police officers, allegedly linked the Armadale man to the email addresses associated with those accounts.

Police intercepted the man at his workplace yesterday morning (Thursday) before executing a search warrant at his home and seizing one mobile phone. Another electronic device will be forensically examined.

The man was arrested and charged with possessing child abuse material obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment. He is expected to appear before Perth Magistrates Court today (18 June 2021).

“Every image, every video captures a child being abused in the worst possible way. It’s abhorrent and has no place here in Australia,” Detective Acting Inspector Coleman said.

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 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.

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