A Victorian man has been charged by the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (Vic-JACET) for allegedly grooming a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside Australia. 

The man, 73, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today (Friday 05 August).

The Vic-JACET began their investigation on Tuesday, 2 August, after being contacted by the Australian Border Force (ABF) when the man arrived at Melbourne International Airport on a flight from Vietnam.

His baggage and electronic devices were examined, with ABF officers locating messages between the man and a facilitator outside Australia, about hiring young children for sexual activity.

Investigators from Vic-JACET, comprising members from AFP and Victoria Police, examined his phone and found online messages allegedly linked to the man and an offence relating to grooming a child for sexual activity.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s home later that same day (2 August 2022).

Leading Senior Constable Mark Sharer said the AFP and its state and territory law enforcement partners remained committed to protecting children.

“We work together with our partner agencies to locate and target online predators, wherever they may be in the world,” LSC Sharer said.

“There’s no getting away with exploiting and abusing children, even online or in environments where you think you are safe; we will eventually find you.”

ABF Superintendent Aviation Operations Nicholas Walker said protecting children from harm was a top priority for the ABF.

“The ABF works around-the-clock with our law enforcement partners to bring those who seek to do harm to children to justice,” Supt Walker said.

“Our officers are highly skilled at identifying people at our airports who are involved in the abuse of children.

“The ABF will continue to work tirelessly to prevent the sexual abuse of children anywhere at any time. Our message is simple, you will be caught, arrested and charged.”

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • “Grooming” a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside Australia, contrary to section 272.15A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The man was granted bail and will appear in court on 25 November 2022.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

Vigilante News

Vigilante News

Tasmanian local news source.

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