Australia’s Police arrest 44 suspects as part of operation against child pornography

CHARGED A 26-YEAR-OLD man from East Innisfail and two Cairns men have been charged with possessing child exploitation material. Pic Supplied

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.

The ADF said the offenders were in various lines of work including, law enforcement, construction, transport, and hospitality.

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. In addition 11 Victorian men are facing 105 charges, 11 alleged offenders in Queensland will face a combined 114 allegations.

Codenamed as "Operation Molto", the child abuse task force of AFP was launched a year ago based on an global tip-off about the widespread sharing of child abusive content across a "cloud storage" platform.

Dubbed Operation Molto, the huge investigation was sparked by a law enforcement referral alerting officers to a cloud storage platform allegedly used by thousands of people worldwide to share "abhorrent" child abuse material.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested 44 men and rescued 16 children from harm in a nationwide crackdown on alleged child abuse offenders.

"Arresting offenders and putting them before the court is only half the battle, " Commissioner Kershaw said. He also confirmed to the media that ACCE's victim identification team is relentlessly working toward identifying and rescuing them.

REECE KERSHAW: Pixel by pixel, our investigators painstakingly look for clues and never give up.

The AFP described the material as "the most abhorrent produced". "Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders".

"The traffic to dark web forums hosting child abuse material had more than doubled since a year ago, with websites regularly crashing under the demand", said Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale told The Daily Telegraph.

Between July previous year and June 2020 AFP investigations led to 134 children being removed from harm in Australia and beyond.



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