New South Wales

Two men charged over alleged online child exploitation

Two men will face court after being charged by detectives from State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad as part of covert online investigations into child exploitation.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) investigation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

In the first investigation, Strike Force officers engaged online with a man from the Northern Rivers area.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking to a 13-year-old girl, and engaged in sexually-explicit conversations with the supposed child and made arrangements to meet her in person. The meeting did not eventuate.

About 11.20am yesterday (Tuesday 9 January 2018), detectives arrested the 40-year-old man on the Evans River, Evans Head.

Following the arrest, a search warrant was executed at a caravan park at Evans Head and a home in Casino, where police located and seized several electronic devices, and items of clothing.

The man was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16-years-old for sexual activity.

He was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today (Wednesday 10 January 2018).

In the second investigation, Strike Force officers engaged online with a man from northern NSW in November 2017.

Police will allege in court that this man believed he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl, that he made numerous sexually explicit comments regarding the child, and he sent the supposed child abuse material.

About 2pm on Monday 8 January 2018, detectives arrested a 31-year-old man at a business at Alstonville.

During the arrest, police located and seized a mobile phone. A number of items were also seized during a search warrant executed at a home at Alstonville.

The man was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to groom a person under 16-years-old for sexual activity.

He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Lismore Local Court on Monday 5 February 2018.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via Facebook and Twitter pages.

Source: NSW Police