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NSW, Vic raids smash child porn ring

Discussion in 'News & Events' started by Hails, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Hails

    Hails Well-Known Member

    December 16, 2007 - 6:52PM

    Two teachers and a former police officer were among six men arrested as police cracked an Australia-wide child pornography ring in weekend raids after a covert 11-month operation.

    Police in NSW and Victoria swooped overnight to smash the network, which had been producing and distributing illegal images and grooming kids for future abuse, police say.

    Eight separate raids by 69 officers in the last two days resulted in six arrests plus the seizure of computers and equipment containing "thousands of images" of child porn.

    Officers posed as children on the internet to infiltrate the network during a police sting operation that began almost a year ago.

    Commander Kevin Zuccato, from the Australian Federal Police Hi-Tech Crime Operations, said he was "very hopeful" the operation, codenamed Strike Force Pymont, would now lead to overseas arrests.

    "The investigation is continuing and we are communicating internationally with our colleagues overseas," Commander Zuccato told reporters in Sydney.

    Police believe most of the child pornography was produced overseas but was collated and distributed in Australia.

    Some of the children involved were infants but their ages ranged up to 16 years.

    In NSW, a 38-year-old man from South West Rocks on the mid-north NSW coast has been charged with transmitting, disseminating and possessing child pornography, grooming a child aged under 16 and producing child pornography.

    A 51-year-old Orange man, a 22-year-old Griffith man and a 29-year-old Coonabarabran man have been charged with a string of offences including disseminating, producing and possessing child pornography.

    The four made brief, formal appearances before magistrates at Port Macquarie, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga where they were refused bail and will reappear in court on Monday.

    In Victoria, a 49-year-old Melbourne man charged with transmitting and possessing child pornography was refused bail and will appear in court on Monday.

    A 31-year-old man from the Sydney suburb of Rosebery was charged with drug-related offences and granted conditional bail.

    He will appear in Waverley Local Court on January 23.

    NSW Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Helen Begg said the fact most of the arrests were made in country NSW "shows that these types of crimes are no longer confined to the city".

    She said it was "very frightening" two teachers and a former police officer were allegedly involved.

    "The offenders ... came from all walks of life including those in positions of trust," Supt Beg told reporters.

    "There was a former police officer, a trainee teacher and a swimming teacher, as well as a truck driver."

    Commander Zuccato said internet predators weren't always "the person wearing the raincoat in the park".

    "These are normal people that live in our community ... so we need to be vigilant," he said.

    He said parents shouldn't leave children playing on a computer unsupervised.

    "We've demonstrated over the last couple of days that we can gain their trust, we can infiltrate their networks and we can take them down," Commander Zuccato said.

    "If you think you're anonymous on the internet, think again, because the people you may be talking to may well be the police."

    NSW Police Minister Campbell labelled the alleged ring "a disgrace".

    "These are vile individuals who would peddle in this type of material and groom young children and take advantage of them," Mr Campbell told reporters.

    © 2007 AAP http://news.theage.com.au/nsw-vic-raids-smash-child-porn-ring/20071216-1hcb.html
     
  2. Dennis

    Dennis R.I.P.

    Castrate those sick fucks
    and throw um in to the general prison population.