Three men – including a 73-year-old Currumbin Waters man – have been charged with child sex offences following a joint investigation involving detectives from Argos and the Gold Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit.
The Police operation targeted alleged offenders using the internet with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with children.
The investigation commenced on Sunday November 19th on the Gold Coast, where it will be alleged the men engaged with covert online profiles maintained by Argos detectives, on which they arranged to meet and access who they believed was a ‘child’ for sex.
It will be alleged all three men attended Gold Coast locations between November 20 and 21 with the intention of meeting with a ‘child’, they were instead met by detectives.
As a result of the operation, a 73-year-old Currumbin Waters man, a 50-year-old Arundel man and a 25-year-old Southport man were all charged with grooming a parent or carer of a child under 16 years with intent to facilitate the procurement of the child to engage in a sexual act.
The men are all expected to appear before Southport Magistrates Court on December 5th.
Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s unit Argos said the Queensland Police Service is committed to relentlessly targeting those who seek to sexually exploit children online.
“Everyday detectives from Argos operate across a range of online platforms to identify and prosecute offenders who seek to exploit our children,” Det Insp Donaldson said.
“This operation highlights that parents and caregivers need to have regular conversations with their children about online safety and the importance of having a trusted adult that they can confide in if they are worried about an online experience or are feeling unsafe.”
Detective Acting Inspector Troy Penrose of the Gold Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit said detectives will continue to work closely with Argos to protect children on the Gold Coast.
“The exploitation of children is a scourge in our society, and we will continue to take proactive measures to identify those who seek to engage in the exploitation of children,” he said.