14 children rescued after alleged online child sex abuse network busted by Australian Federal Police


Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested nine men in relation to an alleged child abuse network that was filmed, photographed and shared online.

Releasing details of the investigation it said operated across three states, the AFP said 40 charges had been laid.

At least 14 children have been removed from harmful situations. The investigation began in February after a tip-off from US authorities.

Two men aged in their 20s were arrested yesterday on the New South Wales Mid North Coast and have each been charged with offences relating to the harm and exploitation of children.

AFP officers have made a series of arrests as part of Operation Arkstone. Photo: The ABC

The AFP will allege the pair were part of an online network that abused Australian children and recorded the crimes to share with others.

Police said the arrests were linked to alleged criminal activity across New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale described the investigation as the biggest and “most horrific” child-exploitation ring uncovered in Australia to date.

She said the investigation involved dozens of specialist operators working around the country who obtained tens of thousands of images.

“Operation Arkstone has shaken some of our most seasoned officers,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

“A total of 40 charges have been laid, with three of the men facing life imprisonment.

“The victims are getting younger and younger [and] this type of offending is becoming more violent and brazen. It takes a network to break a network and to this end, we want to thank our police partners.”

Five other men were arrested in New South Wales, while the remaining two men were arrested in Queensland and Western Australia.

Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale stands behind a lectern.
Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale says the investigation has shaken some of our most seasoned officers.(Supplied: Australian Federal Police)

Assistant Commissioner Gale said all victims were boys, aged between four and seven years old.

It’s understood the men met on the dark web — an area of the internet favoured by criminals for its claimed anonymity — and then communicated on an encrypted app.

Police said more alleged abusers associated with the network were yet to be uncovered.

“We are painstakingly reviewing material [with] Interpol-trained victim-identification experts, noting every pixel from evidence,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

Sourced By: The ABC

Monument to migration - Mother's Day




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Angelo Tsarouchas Skits and Wits tour


Latest News

How Commodore John Stavridis commemorates ANZAC Day every year

Every year, on April 25, Australians honour all those who have fallen, those who have served and all of those who continue to serve.

Australian track and field athlete Mikeala Selaidinakos aims to qualify for Paris Olympics

On Thursday 25 April, Australian track and field athlete Mikeala Selaidinakos will depart for the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24.

‘I get closer to my faith’: Greek Orthodox people on the importance of fasting for Easter

With Orthodox Easter around the corner, the Lent period leading up to Holy Saturday and Anastasi continues.

Honouring the memory of dual ANZAC Constantine Aroney BEM at his restored grave

Each year on ANZAC Day we commemorate those who fought and died at Gallipoli in 1915 and those brave men and women who have fought since.

Women’s justice champ unveils the untold story of WWII ANZACs from Brunswick to Greece

Phil Cleary's latest project, “Gladys and the Brunswick Boys,” delves into the experiences of World War II ANZACs who fought in Greece.

You May Also Like

Mary Mihelakos showcases Melbourne’s local history with her Music Bus Tour

From humble beginnings as a volunteer at a local radio station to DJ’ing on stage with American singer Iggy Pop, Mary Mihelakos has had a wild ride with her career in music.

Maria Vamvakinou MP issues message to mark OXI Day anniversary

Labor’s Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou, has issued a message ahead of OXI Day on Saturday, October 28 this year.

Greek-owned restaurants win big in the NSW excellence awards

The winners of the 2022 Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence in NSW have been announced and four Greek-owned restaurants won.