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Arrest by new Online Child Sex Exploitation Team

First arrest made by AFP’s new Online Child Sex Exploitation Team

The AFP’s Online Child Sex Exploitation Team (OCSET) has made its first arrest utilising new laws combating the use of the internet to download and distribute child pornography, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison said.

Senator Ellison said a 33-year-old computer technician was arrested and charged today by members of OCSET, under the new laws following the receipt of information from overseas law enforcement alleging the downloading of child pornography.

Computer equipment was seized during the execution of a search warrant at the man’s Adelaide home.

“This arrest sends a clear message that the internet is not an anonymous place. Those who would download and distribute child pornography are being hunted by law enforcement authorities,” Senator Ellison said.

“The first arrest by OCSET demonstrates that Australian law enforcement authorities are successfully utilising their new powers to combat the abhorrent trade online of child pornography.”

Senator Ellison said OCSET was a $28.4million Commonwealth Government-funded initiative specifically targeting internet child sex offences which commenced operations on January 1, 2005.

“This Commonwealth initiative sees OCSET dedicated officers drawing on AFP resources and working closely with other law enforcement agencies in Australia and overseas to fight these crimes,” he said.

The man was charged with one count of using a carriage service to access child pornography material contrary to Section 474.19 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and one count of possessing, controlling, producing or obtaining child pornography material through a carriage service, contrary to Section 474.22 of the Criminal Code. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.

Senator Ellison said these offences came into affect on 1 March 2005 as part of the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to combating online child exploitation.

“The Commonwealth, State and International law enforcement officers involved in this operation are to be commended,” he said.

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