Detectives from Argos and North Coast Child Protection Investigation Units have charged three men in relation to separate child abuse offences following an operation targeting the possession and distribution of child exploitation material (CEM).
Following the execution of a series of search warrants during the five-day operation on the Sunshine Coast this week, police seized a number of electronic items and digital evidence.
A 30-year-old Sunshine Coast man was charged with 43 child abuse related offences following the execution of a search warrant where it is alleged the man was sexually exploiting a child and was using encrypted platforms to access and possess CEM.
The man has been charged with multiple counts of rape, indecent treatment of a child and making and distributing CEM and the aggravated networking offence. He is remanded in custody and expected to appear at Gympie Magistrates Court on 17 January 2022.
The child has been rescued from any further harm. Investigations are continuing.
A 49-year-old Eumundi man was charged with possess CEM, use carriage service to access CEM and use carriage to distribute CEM. He is due to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on 25 November 2021.
A 25-year-old Yandina man was charged with two counts of the possessing CEM. He is due to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on 26 November 2021.
Detective Acting Inspector Cameron Burke of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s Argos team said police will continue to target offenders involved in the sexual exploitation of children and the possession or distribution of child exploitation material.
“These children are re-victimised every time someone downloads and shares an image. If you view or upload these images you are contributing to the horrific abuse of children,” Detective Acting Inspector Burke said.