Teacher amongst 70 arrested for downloading child porn

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The AFP today announced is has arrested 70 people and summoned a further 20 to court for allegedly downloading child porn images from a worldwide network. Amongst those arrested was a teacher, a police officer and a youth worker.

The AFP said the arrests were the largest ever of its kind conducted by the AFP in response to online child abuse.

After a six-month nationwide investigation, Police from seven Australian jurisdictions and the AFP Child Protection Operations team executed 187 search warrants resulting in the arrests.

Queensland recorded the most arrests with 41 suspects detained, followed by 23 in New South Wales and 17 in Victoria. Four were arrested in South Australia, three in the ACT, one in Tasmania and one in Western Australia.

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said the investigation, conducted simultaneously by law enforcement authorities in 170 countries, was ongoing, but so far those caught will appear in court for allegedly possessing child porn images.

"Those arrested range in age from 19 to 81 and come from a variety of backgrounds, including a teacher, a police officer, a youth worker and a pharmacist," Commissioner Keelty said.

According to the AFP, the investigation began when a referral was received from Interpol late last year in relation to images, believed to be child abuse material, being downloaded from a website.

More than 12 million hits have been identified on the website from 170 countries, including 2800 hits in Australia.

Further arrests are expected said Commissioner Keelty.

“The AFP will not tolerate any form of child abuse in Australia or anywhere in the world and will continue to work with local and overseas counterparts to arrest those behind child exploitation,” he said.

"The images accessed on these sites are of real children being abused. It is a shocking thing.

"In Australia, we have netted more than one million images of children being abused and rescued four children at potential risk.

"This operation is the tip of the iceberg and shows that parents and children need to remain vigilant," Keelty said.
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