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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

German national, 72, charged over child abuse material

A 72-year-old German national has been charged with possessing child abuse material following a Northern Territory Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (NT JACET) investigation.

The man appeared in the Darwin Local Court today, where he was refused bail and remanded in custody until his next appearance on 19 March.

“The NT JACET, comprising members from the AFP and Northern Territory Police, charged the man on 29 December, 2023 at Darwin International Airport where he was scheduled to board a flight to Timor-Leste,” the AFP said in a statement today.

The investigation began after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined the man’s luggage including his laptop, mobile phone and two USBs, when he arrived in Darwin on a flight from Timor-Leste on 29 November last year.

After issuing the man with an infringement notice for material found on a USB, ABF officers held his mobile phone and laptop for further examination and allegedly found 30 child abuse material images. The matter was then referred to the NT JACET for investigation.

The man has been charged with possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service.

The maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Superintendent Gregory Davis said the AFP, together with its state and territory law enforcement partners, remained committed to protecting children, no matter where they were in the world.

“We are working closely with our partners to ensure we are finding offenders and bringing them before the courts,’’ Supt Davis said.

“Child exploitation is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.”

ABF Chief Superintendent Tracie Griffin said ABF officers played a critical role at the border to protect the community, which included detecting the importation of child abuse material on electronic devices.

“We are dedicated to ensuring people seeking to import child abuse material into Australia are caught and will face the full consequences of their actions,” Chief Superintendent Griffin said.

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