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BNE airport arrest leads to child exploitation charge

October 9, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A 63-year-old Gold Coast man faces a serious charge after an arrest at Brisbane International Airport on Thursday.

Following an investigation by the Queensland Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET), the man was arrested at Brisbane International Airport attempting to travel to the Philippines, Australian Federal Police (AFP) said.

Police allege the man had been engaging online with a girl under the age of 16 in the Philippines in an attempt to engage in sexual activity with her and other children, an AFP statement said.

The man was due to face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday on charges of  grooming a child to engage in sexual activity outside Australia, contrary to section 272.15(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Commonwealth). The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 12 years.

The Queensland JACET is made up of officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Queensland Police Service. The Australian Border Force (ABF) provided assistance to this investigation.

AFP Commander Lesa Gale, Manager Victim Based Crime, said investigations like this highlighted the global realities of child exploitation.

“There are offenders who seek to use the anonymity of the internet to identify and target vulnerable children,” Commander Gale said.

“I commend the work of the JACET as they continue to take all necessary action to protect children in Australia and internationally from sexual exploitation. The AFP will actively exercise all available options to prevent the sexual abuse of children anywhere at any time.”

Queensland Police Service Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon, of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group, said: “Co-hosting the AFP with the team at Argos has enhanced our capacity to stop the sexual abuse of children nationally and internationally.”

ABF Acting Regional Commander for Queensland, John Ikin, said this investigation demonstrated the strength of cooperation between law enforcement agencies to produce significant results.

“The ABF is pleased that our assistance in the matter has resulted in an arrest and prevention of possible child sexual abuse,” Acting Commander Ikin said.

Edited by Peter Needham

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