Child Abuse Offender Convicted through ‘Operation Arkstone’

Child Abuse Offender Convicted through ‘Operation Arkstone’

An Australian Federal Police (AFP) initiated large scale child protection operation called ‘Operation Arkstone’ conducted nationwide led to the conviction of a man for sharing child sexual abuse material online.

The convict is a 34 years old Melbourne man who has been sentenced for three years imprisonment by the Melbourne County Court for the crime.

His Truganina based home was searched for the restricted material on 18th November 2021. A search warrant was executed by the investigators of Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) and they found multiple electronic devices containing child abuse images and videos.

When those electronic devices were subjected to forensic examination, multiple files were obtained which consisted of the child abuse material and the sexual abuse and torture of pre-pubescent and pubescent children.

The devices also showed the information regarding the sharing of the abuse material with others through instant messaging applications online.

In 2020, the investigators of Eastern Command Child Protection Operations arrested a 30-year-old Central Coast man for child abuse offences. This was the time when Operation Arkstone took birth.

The initial arrest followed a report to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) from the United States National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Since its commencement in 2020, the Operation Arkstone till date has led to the arrests of 26 Australian offenders who have been charged with 1359 offences. Also it has identified 56 child victims in Australia, who have been removed from harm.

AFP Senior Constable Cassandra Barlee said that the results of Operation Arkstone are very shocking to Australia.

Briefing about the operation and the child victims, Barlee said, “Our child protection investigators left no stone unturned in their inquiries to identify offenders and ensure child victims were saved from further abuse.”

She added, “These children will sadly have to live with the trauma of their abuse for the rest of their lives. If our investigators could provide one peace of mind, it’s to ensure their abusers never have the opportunity to inflict more harm on them or others.”

The convict has been charged with seven offences which included access to child pornography using a carriage service, make available child abuse material using a carriage service using a carriage service, promote material child abuse material using a carriage service, access child abuse material, transmit child abuse material, cause child abuse material to be transmitted and possess child abuse material.

Along with the charges he has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months. 

Talking about the ACCCE, it is driving a collaborative national approach to combating child abuse. It brings together the specialist expertise and skills, which support investigations into online child sexual exploitation and develop prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.


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