A 40 year-old Australian citizen has been arrested and charged after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Perth Airport allegedly found him in possession of dozens of images depicting the sexual abuse of children.
ABF officers stopped the Noranda man for a baggage examination after he arrived home on a flight from Singapore yesterday (Tuesday, 8 October).
It will be alleged that during an initial examination of one of the man’s two mobile phones, officers found 41 child exploitation material images and four videos classified as ‘Objectionable Material’ under Australian law.
That phone was seized and the other phone and his laptop held for examination.
ABF Investigators last night charged the man with one count of Import Tier 2 goods being child exploitation material under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901. More charges could follow.
The maximum penalty for the importation of child exploitation material is 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $525,000.
The man was granted conditional bail to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on 18 October 2019.
ABF Regional Commander for Western Australia, Rod O’Donnell, said tackling child exploitation is an operational priority for the ABF as part of its role in protecting the border from individuals, be they visitors or citizens, who may pose a threat to the community.
“ABF officers utilise a range of powers at the border in order to detect and seize goods and material deemed harmful to the Australian community. ABF officers diligently exercise those powers at gateways around the country on a daily basis, including the examination of mobile phones and electronic devices” Commander O’Donnell said.
“Our officers are highly skilled at identifying people at our airports who are attempting to carry this abhorrent material across the border.”