Australian Federal Police Given New Powers To Stop Paedophiles From Profiting From Child Abuse
The Australian Federal Police have been given fresh powers to stop paedophiles from profiting off of child abuse.
The Daily Telegraph reports the AFP will be able to use the government's proceeds of crime laws to seize homes, cars and money from child abusers who are found to be profiting from their sick offences.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has told the newspaper: "If a sex offender is found to be profiting or seeking to gain from the exploitation of children, they can expect to have their bank account, their home or even their car seized.
"We are going to target those who profit from an abhorrent trade in child abuse.''
News Corp says there has been an explosion of paedophiles who are using the dark web to make and disseminate child abuse material. They can then make money off those images and videos by selling them to other users.
Incredibly, dark web servers have recently crashed under the weight of traffic from Australian users trying to get content. News Corp says Australian paedophiles can pay parents in poor socioeconomic conditions to abuse their own children.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said they have noticed a large increase in the online trade of child abuse material.
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"From July last year to this year June, we've had 21,000 reports of child sexual exploitation ... that's almost a 50 percent increase [since the previous year]," Commissioner Kershaw told 2GB last week.
"The internet is not such a safe place. It's a breeding ground, sadly, for a lot of these online predators."
Authorities say around 15 years ago, they would typically find around 1,000 abuse images on a suspected paedophile's computer. Now, the average is sitting at 80,000.
It's hoped this 'new and aggressive strategy' for the AFP will prevent criminals from using the money they make off abuse material to buy things like homes or vehicles.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said: "Australian law enforcement officers observed sites hosting online sexual abuse material crashing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increased volume of traffic."
The Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CATC) will target pedophiles in the same way police deal with drug dealers, motorcycle gang members and fraudsters, according to News Corp.
The CATC will not only involve lawyers, financial investigators and forensic accountants from the AFP, but also authorities from the Australian Taxation Office, Border Force, AUSTRAC and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
Featured Image Credit: AFP