(LAWFUEL) – Six men are facing Australian courts for allegedly downloading child abuse images following a four-month investigation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and state and international law enforcement agencies.
South Australia and Western Australia Police assisted in the operation and executed search warrants between May and July this year on those identified as allegedly accessing images on a worldwide child pornography network.
The investigation was led by the London-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which referred the matter to the AFP in March this year.
Those charged include three men from Victoria, two from Western Australia and one from South Australia. A large number of CDs and computers, allegedly containing child abuse images, were seized during the search warrants. It is believed that over two million child abuse images were seized during this investigation.
“This operation highlights the importance of law enforcement agency relationships, both internationally with CEOP in the UK and through the Virtual Global Taskforce partners and locally with our state and territory police,” National Manager of the High Tech Crime Operations Andrew Colvin said.
“This is not just another successful result in this crime type but it underlines the constant problem police worldwide face in the downloading of child abuse images.
“We will continue to relentlessly pursue those individuals who choose to trade, access, download and publish online child abuse images and child exploitation material. And if you are one of those people, know that police could be knocking on your door tomorrow,” Assistant Commissioner Colvin said.
The maximum penalty for possessing child pornography is 10 years imprisonment.
• A 48-year-old Naracoorte, SA man charged on 29 May 2008
• A 57-year-old Oakleigh, VIC man charged on 30 April 2008
• A 60-year-old Mill Park, VIC man charged on 18 April 2008
• A 55-year-old Boronia, VIC man charged on 23 April 2008
• A 40-year-old Geraldton, WA man charged on 31 July 2008
• A 28-year-old Parmelia, WA man charged on 17 July 2008