Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Attack on online child sexual abuse network saves children

30 January 2014

Attack on online child sexual abuse network saves children

A New Zealand multi-agency operation targeting an on-line child sexual abuse network has caught six offenders, identified four children who had the potential to be harmed, and rescued a six-year old victim in the United Kingdom.

Customs Manager Border Operations Shane Panettiere says online child sexual abuse is a serious borderless crime, against which agencies join forces to actively share information and conduct investigations to protect children and target offenders.

“With greater global connectivity, offenders think they can operate anonymously accessing and exchanging child sexual abuse material, but they will not go undetected.”

Operation Hyper began last June when a referral by Queensland Police (Taskforce Argos) led to a Customs search warrant at a 41 year old man’s central Auckland home. His young child was assessed by government agencies for harm. Information gained as a result of this warrant also identified other offenders in New Zealand and the UK.

Internal Affairs, Police and Customs conducted simultaneous warrants on Auckland’s North Shore and Levin, while UK Police arrested a man in West Yorkshire. As a result of these warrants, another man living in the UK was identified.

In December, UK Police arrested the 62 year old, rescuing his granddaughter from physical sexual abuse, which was also being filmed and distributed. In New Zealand, Customs and Police conducted a further search warrant at a Northland home. This included the assessment of two young children residing at the property.

“The operation required meticulous planning and execution to ensure enforcement activity did not jeopardise potential victim safety or alert suspect offenders who could warn others in their network,” Mr Panettiere says.

Gary Ronald Barnes, age 53, from Levin, who was arrested by the NZ Police, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment for 25 counts of possessing an objectionable publication and five of distributing objectionable publications last October. He had two previous similar convictions.

The central Auckland man charged by Customs for possession and exportation is due to appear in court for sentencing in March. A 50 year old North Shore man faces similar charges by Internal Affairs, and charges are yet to be laid against the 32 year old Northland man. Both men arrested in the UK are yet to be sentenced.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, head of Police’s Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand (OCEANZ) unit said Operation Hyper is a great example of both domestic and international co-operation.

“A global taskforce is committed to identifying and protecting children in New Zealand and across the world from online sexual exploitation and sexual offending,” Mr Michael said.

Internal Affairs’ team leader, Censorship Compliance Unit, Jon Peacock agreed adding that it takes a network to defeat a network.

“The agencies involved actively shared information and conducted investigations to target and arrest the offenders when the timing was right,” Mr Peacock said.

Deputy Director of the UK's National Crime Agency CEOP command, Andy Baker, says the internet knows no bounds, so international partnerships and relationships are crucial when tackling child sexual exploitation – whether this is by sharing intelligence or supporting ongoing operations.

Taskforce Argos has had an exceptional working relationship with New Zealand law enforcement for many years.

Task Force Argos Detective Inspector Jon Rouse says “We receive as many investigative leads as we send, and this operation highlights the fact that we are working very effectively across international borders to protect each others children.”

Terminology
Media are urged to use the terminology ‘child sexual abuse images’ or ‘child objectionable material’, and not ‘child pornography’. The use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually downplays child sex abuse:
• It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the victim’s part and therefore suggests legality on the abuser’s part.
• It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than the image capturing the suffering of horrific abuse.
• Every publication of these images promotes the sexual exploitation of children and young people and often portrays actual child abuse occurring at the time. This is not pornography. These are images of criminal acts.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news