Three FNQ men arrested over nationwide paedophile ring

Cheryl Sanders
October 23, 2020

Police in Australia said they have arrested 44 men for allegedly possessing child exploitation material, following a nationwide investigation.

In a statement released on Friday, AFP said those alleged offenders are facing a total of 350 charges of possessing child exploitation material.

The alleged offenders come from every state and the Australian Capital Territory.

Law enforcement personnel, hospitality workers and those working in construction and transport are among those charged.

Some of the alleged offenders, who are also accused of producing their own child abuse material online, were allegedly in possession of material that was produced by a man arrested by the AFP in 2015 under Operation Niro, which resulted in the dismantling of an global organised paedophile syndicate.

Police also removed 16 children from harm in an operation that saw arrests in nearly all of the country's eight states and territories, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement.

Six children were cleared of potential harm in both South Australia and Victoria, while there were two in Queensland and one each in NSW and the ACT.

Home Secretary Peter Dutton announced in Parliament on Thursday that reports of child exploitation material to the Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation (ACCCE) had "increased dramatically".

The AFP said it began the investigation after receiving a report that thousands of people were using an unspecified cloud storage platform to spread child-abuse material.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said while the hard-work, diligence and co-operation of police should be recognised, victims remained in the front of mind for law enforcement agencies.

Dozens of Australian men have been charged and 16 children rescued amid a nation-wide crackdown on child sex abuse materials.

The AFP said it had rescued 134 children from child exploitation this year, including 67 who were not in Australia. "Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders".

There have been more than 250,000 child abuse material files intercepted by Australian authorities in the last 12 months alone.

Other reports by iNewsToday