Strike Force charge four men over alleged online child exploitation

Police are urging parents and carers to monitor their child's online activities after Strike Force Trawler detectives charged four men in the last three weeks over the alleged online procurement and incitement of children for sex which included a search warrant at a home in Cabramatta.

In one of the incidents, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squads Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from south-west Sydney.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sexually-explicit acts he wished to perform on the child.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 32-year-old man outside a business at Chullora about 1pm on Friday, June 21.

Shortly after, investigators executed a search warrant at a home in Cabramatta, where they seized several electronic devices to undergo forensic examination.

The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under the age of 16 years for sexual activity.

He was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday, June 22, where he was formally refused bail to re-appear at Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday, August 21.

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec, said parents need to speak with their children regularly about online safety.

"It's important to speak to your child about the dangers associated with online conversations and know what your child is doing online," Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said.

"With children currently on school holidays, its a timely reminder to keep an eye on how much time your child is spending on the internet, what websites they are visiting, and who they may be speaking with.

"Not only should young people be very careful about providing personal information details to a person they only know in an online environment, they should never organise to meet as doing so may place them at further risk of harm.

"If they encounter something or someone they are not comfortable with, we encourage them to speak to someone they trust, who can then let our investigators know."

  • More information and educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety: thinkuknow.org.au.
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