Customs arrests Christchurch man for child sexual abuse material

Customs has arrested a Christchurch man for his alleged involvement in the online exploitation of children. He is scheduled to appear in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon, Wednesday 22 May 2024.

The 42-year-old faces five charges of exporting, distributing and possessing objectionable publications, and a charge of failing to provide access to a computer system.

Customs was notified by US-based overseas social media platforms about objectionable video files a New Zealander had allegedly uploaded to social media messenger apps.

Customs’ investigations identified the man and carried out a search warrant at his home address in Linwood this morning (22 May 2024).

Chief Customs Officer – Child Exploitation Operations Team, Simon Peterson, said the man refused to provide Customs Officers with the pin code to his cellphone.

“Despite this man failing to comply with our request, Customs investigators were able to analyse the phone’s SD card. This confirmed he was in possession of numerous videos of child sexual abuse, and he was arrested on site.

“We have detained the man’s electronic devices for forensic examination. This may result in further charges.”

If you have concerns or suspicions about someone who may be trading in, or producing child sexual abuse images or videos, contact Customs confidentially on 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you are, or know of, someone who is at risk or being abused, contact the Police immediately.

/Public Release. View in full here.