Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged 44 men and removed 16 children from harm after investigators dismantled a national paedophile ring.
The alleged perpetrators – some of who stand accused of producing their own child abuse material – are now facing a combined 350 charges after a law enforcement referral sparked a nationwide criminal investigation into child exploitation material.
Coordinated by the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), the operation has led to the arrest of 44 men aged from 19 and 57 years and employed in a range of jobs such as construction, transport, law enforcement and hospitality.
Commissioner at AFP, Reece Kershaw said the year-long Operation Molto had netted offenders in every Australian state, plus the ACT.
Kershaw said as a result of all AFP investigations, 134 children were removed from harm – 67 domestically and 67 internationally – between July 2019 to June 2020.
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By Erin Pearson
Published October 23, 2020