58 Queensland arrests in international operation targeting online child exploitation
Queensland Police have removed 23 children from harm and arrested 58 people on 423 charges as part of an international operation targeting the production and distribution of online child exploitation material.
The 58 Queensland arrests relating to child sex abuse offences were among those charged worldwide in Operation Molto, an operation led by New Zealand authorities and coordinated by AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).
Since the commencement of Operation Molto in 2019, Argos investigators in partnership with district police across the State, have identified and investigated Queensland user accounts linked to a cloud storage platform where child exploitation material was allegedly found.
As a result of investigations, Queensland Police executed a total of 71 search warrants across Queensland; from the Gold Coast to Cairns, from Toowoomba to Mount Isa.
Among those charged include:
A 30-year-old man from the Somerset Region charged with 50 offences following the execution of a search warrant on August 13 2020 where it is alleged the man was sexually exploiting two children under 10 over a period of time and using an online platform to access and transmit child exploitation material. The man has been charged with multiple counts of rape and indecent treatment of a child, using a carriage service to access and transmit child abuse material and weapon offences. He is remanded in custody and expected to appear at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 21.
A 26-year-old Kingaroy man charged with child exploitation material offences following the execution of a search warrant on October 23 2021. The man was charged with four counts of the possession of child exploitation material, five counts of making child exploitation material, three counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and three counts of using a carriage service to distribute child abuse material. It will be alleged that the man was found in possession of a large volume of child exploitation material depicting the sexual abuse of babies and toddlers. He is due to appear at Kingaroy Magistrates Court on March 3.
Crime and Intelligence Command Acting Assistant Commissioner Denzil Clark said “Queensland Police are committed to working collaboratively with national, interstate, and international counterparts to target those who pose a risk to children in the community”.
“These results highlight the tenacity and commitment of the Queensland Police in protecting our community,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Denzil Clark said.
“The possession of child exploitation material is not a victimless crime. Anyone involved in possessing or sharing these images continues the cycle of victimisation and abuse of the children depicted in this material,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Clark said.