Police charge two men with online child abuse

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Two men are due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates’ Court today (20 May 2022), after both were charged with possession of child pornography material following separate investigations by the Brisbane Protection Operations Team childhood of AFP’s Northern Command.

A 55-year-old man was charged on February 23, 2022 after officers allegedly located child pornography material on electronic devices found during a search of the man’s home in Durack.

In an independent investigation, a 41-year-old man has been charged after officers allegedly found files containing child pornography on two hard drives and a mobile phone located at the man’s West End residence.

Both investigations were launched after reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) of the downloading of child pornography material via the Google Drive platform by people believed to be in Australia.

Investigators from the Northern Command Child Protection Operations Team linked the men to the accounts.

Mary Bolton, AFP’s acting superintendent of child protection operations, said the investigations showed the importance of AFP’s international network.

“We work with partners around the world to protect children online and these investigations show why we are so critical to our success,” she said.

“It takes a network to break a network and AFP is working tirelessly with partners around the world to bring anyone who shares child pornography material to justice.”

Both men were charged with possessing or controlling child pornography obtained or accessed using a carrier service.

The maximum penalty for these offenses is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP is also urging the public to help it resolve investigations into cold cases of child abuse through its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object initiative. The smallest clue can often help solve a case.

The world-renowned initiative is centered on posting non-confrontational images that can be seen in child exploitation material online, such as clothing or bedding.

Australian investigators believe the footage is linked to victims in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, and are calling on the community to view the footage and report at www.accce.gov.au/trace

AFP and its partners are committed to ending the exploitation and abuse of children and the ACCCE is at the center of a collaborative national approach to addressing child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in one central hub, supporting child sexual abuse investigations and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about those involved in child abuse and exploitation are asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening at the moment or a child is in danger, call the police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is affected by online child sexual abuse and exploitation, support services are available at www.accce.gov.au/support.

Advice and support for parents and guardians on how they can help protect children online is available at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an educational program run by AFP and designed to prevent sexual exploitation children online.

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