Townsville police are expected to indict three people for an alleged child exploitation network in northern Queensland.
Most important points:
- Police believe more than $50,000 was exchanged in connection with the alleged crime
- The arrests are the result of investigations into Operation Tango Rosetta
- Police say more arrests could result from the investigation, but the three main “targets” are now in custody
The alleged victims are between one month and 14 years old.
Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said a 64-year-old man from Kelso had been arrested.
A 41-year-old woman from North Ward and a 38-year-old woman from Condon were also charged in connection with the alleged child exploitation network.
“They’re pretty serious violations, they’re pretty significant and they all involve exposing young children to what is abhorrent to the community,” said Senior Sergeant Miles.
“For some of the crimes we are dealing with today, the maximum penalty is up to 25 years in prison.
More arrests possible
Senior Sergeant Miles said police expected the trio to be charged with multiple violations later in the day after searching evidence discovered as part of Operation Tango Rosetta.
“[The] offenses include extortion, domestic violence, a range of offenses involving child exploitation under both state and commonwealth law,” he said.
Senior Sergeant Miles does not rule out further arrests in connection with the alleged child exploitation offenses.
“We have our top three individuals at the moment,” he said.
“Out of those three, we think there are other individuals — two are linked to this group, whether they did that innocently or whether they’re inextricably linked, we don’t know yet.
Senior Sergeant Miles said the internet made child exploitation material easier to access.
“Child exploitation is becoming more prevalent in the community, especially with the advent of digital media and the ability to cross-fertilize information between parties,” he said.
The children would be known to the alleged perpetrators.
“The kids we’re dealing with today have relationships with some of the people who have been charged,” Sergeant Miles said.