A 50-year-old New Zealand man accused of downloading and transmitting child abuse material will face court in NSW today after an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation.
The AFP began an investigation after receiving a referral from the United States based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children that an internet user believed to be based in Australia had accessed CAM using a Google account.
Investigations by the AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team identified a 50-year-old man living in Wollongong was suspected to be using social media applications such as Facebook, Telegram, Wikr and Whatsapp to send and receive hundreds of videos and images of children being sexually abused.
AFP investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s home in the Wollongong suburb of Windang yesterday. Two mobile phones were seized for further digital forensic analysis.
The man was arrested and charged with:
- Two counts of possess or control child abuse material obtained or accessed busing a carriage service contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
- Three counts of use carriage service to transmit child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The potential maximum penalty for the offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Ben McQuillan said the AFP is committed to tracking down and charging perpetrators who exploit vulnerable children.
“Child sex abuse offences committed online have real life consequences. Every time these images are viewed and shared, children are harmed,” said Det Supt McQuillan.
“The AFP will continue to focus on the protection of children both nationally and internationally from anyone seeking to view this horrific abuse material,” he said.