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Three Australians Arrested in Relation to an Alleged International Child Sex Offender Network

(LAWFUEL) – Two men are facing an Australian court today and another Australian has been arrested in Thailand for allegedly committing child sex offences following a joint investigation involving close cooperation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) the Royal Thai Police (RTP) and state police agencies.

Ongoing investigations by the AFP have resulted in coordinated assistance with the Children, Juveniles and Woman’s Division of the RTP and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in the United Kingdom in relation to Australian nationals travelling overseas and committing child sex offences in Thailand.

The AFP executed search warrants on the men’s residential addresses in
Sydney yesterday and arrested them for a range of offences relating to child sex tourism and possession of child abuse material. On the same day RTP officers conducted a search warrant upon residential premises and arrested an Australian national residing in Thailand.

The men arrested include a 40-year-old Russell Lea man, a 23-year-old Eastwood man and a 68-year-old Australian residing in Thailand.
The Manager of the AFP Sydney Office Commander David Stewart said that this operation highlights the importance of law enforcement agency relationships with CEOP in the UK, through the Virtual Global Taskforce partners and those with the Royal Thai Police. “This is not just another successful result in this crime type but it underlines the constant problem police face worldwide in tackling child abuse and child sex
tourism. “We will continue to relentlessly pursue those individuals who choose to abuse children, who are the most vulnerable in our communities.
“The AFP will not tolerate any form of child abuse in Australia or anywhere in the world and will continue to work with local and overseas counterparts to arrest those behind child exploitation,” Commander Stewart said.

The charges against the three men include:
• Offences contrary to legislation of Australia as per section 50AD of the Crimes (Child Sex Tourism) Amendment Act 1994;
• Offences contrary to legislation of Australia as per section 15.1 (Extended geographical jurisdiction—category A) of the Criminal Code Act 1995;
• Sexual conduct involving children under 16 outside Australia, contrary to Section 50BC of the Crimes Act 1914;
• Using a carriage service to access child pornography, contrary to section 474.19 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
• Possess child pornography, contrary to section 91H of the Crimes Act 1914 (NSW).

There are also a number of charges in relation to serious offences committed against the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Concerns about inappropriate or suspicious behavior can be reported to local police, the AFP website or the Virtual Global Taskforce website at
www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com.

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