Australian police arrest 44 suspects and rescue 16 children

Police arrest 44 suspects and rescue 16 children
Police in Sydney arrest a man suspected of possessing child abuse material. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: Australian police have arrested 44 men across the country on suspicion of possessing and producing child abuse material.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said sixteen children had been “removed from harm” in the process.

The arrests followed a year-long investigation into videos and images that were shared online.

Arrests of the suspects – all aged between 19 and 57 – were made in every state in Australian.

Police laid a total of 350 charges, all related to producing or possessing child exploitation material.

The men had allegedly used a cloud storage platform to share the abuse. Australian police described some evidence as among “the most abhorrent produced”.

Commissioner Reece Kershaw said identifying and rescuing the victims was a “race against time” in such cases.

He said: “Pixel by pixel, our investigators painstakingly look for clues and never give up.”

Hundreds of police and other specialists worked on the operation in all Australian states and territories.

The arrests numbered 11 in Queensland, 11 in Victoria, eight in New South Wales, nine in South Australia, seven in Western Australia, five in Tasmania and one in the Australian Capital Territory.

The suspects worked in industries including transport, law enforcement, construction and hospitality.

Mr Kershaw said: “Children are not commodities and the AFP and its partner agencies work around-the-clock to identify and prosecute offenders.”

The Australian Federal Police said it had rescued 134 children from child exploitation this year, including 67 who were not in Australia.

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