As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues to release its findings in the effort to alleviate the traumas and prevent further abuse of Australian children comes news today that sixty-five Australians between the ages of 25 and 72 have been arrested and charged with 399 offences following a three-year global child pornography investigation that has uncovered a ring of 348 now-apprehended offenders.
According to a report filed by Reuters in conjunction with the Sydney Morning Herald, amongst those arrested are a horrifying number of adults guilty of disgusting betrayals of trust and the abuse of office and influence, including “forty school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, thirty-two people who volunteered with children, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors or priests, and three foster parents.” Six Australian children have also been removed from positions of harm from a total of 386 pre-pubescent children rescued globally.
The worldwide investigation, dubbed Project Spade, was conducted by over thirty global police forces operating in unison from Australia, Spain, Ireland, Greece, South Africa, Hong Kong, Mexico, Norway and the United States, amongst others, and recovered some 350,000 images and over 9000 videos of child sexual abuse. Head of the Sex Crimes Unit in Toronto, where the ring was allegedly operating from, Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, has stated that further arrests will be made as the investigation continues and more children are saved.
Manager of Cyber Crime Operations at the AFP where the investigation was known as Operation Thunderer, Glen McEwen, said that “The AFP and state and territory police worked relentlessly alongside international partner agencies to bring these offenders to justice. This global investigation has disrupted a wide-spread international network of suspects, in a powerful demonstration of law enforcement working together to protect children around the world.
If you choose to view and circulate child abuse images, you will be investigated, pursued and charged, regardless of where you are located.”
via The SMH