Australian Police Smash Alleged Paedophile Ring And Save 16 Children From Horrific Abuse
Australian Federal Police have smashed an alleged paedophile ring and saved 16 children from horrific abuse.
Operation Molto has resulted in the arrest of 44 men aged between 19 and 57 from every state in Australia.
The men are now facing 350 charges and police say the child abuse material they were sharing on a cloud service was 'abhorrent'.
Some of the offenders are accused of making their own child exploitation material and several were in possession of material that was made by a man arrested in 2015 as part of Operation Niro, which disrupted a paedophile syndicate that had 'material [that] was classified as the most abhorrent produced'.
AFP officers arrested 11 alleged offenders in Victoria and charged them with 105 charges, while saving six children from harm. There were eight men arrested in New South Wales who are facing 49 charges. One child was rescued in NSW.
Another 11 alleged offenders were taken into custody in Queensland and are looking at 114 charges. Two children were rescued in the Sunshine State. Six more children were saved in South Australia while nine alleged offenders were arrested and now face 67 charges.
Police also arrested two men in Western Australia and thankfully no children had to be removed from harm.
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AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said their hard work will now go into helping the victims of these unspeakable crimes.
"Arresting offenders and putting them before the court is only half the battle,'' Commissioner Kershaw said.
"Identifying victims is a race against time and the ACCCE's victim identification team is relentless in rescuing children from sexual abuse.
"Pixel by pixel, our investigators painstakingly look for clues and never give up and the tools they use give Australian police access to world leading expertise.
"Viewing, distributing or producing child exploitation material is a crime. Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders."
The AFP says the 44 men who were arrested worked in a range of jobs, including construction, transport, law enforcement and hospitality.
From July 2019 to June 2020, the AFP have removed 134 children from harm, with half of those being outside Australia. The AFP works with loads of international agencies to stop and prevent child abuse from going on around the world.
There have been more than 250,000 child abuse material files intercepted by Australian authorities in the last 12 months alone.
Featured Image Credit: AFP
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