NEWS

Four children rescued from the clutches of ‘dark web’ paedophile ring

Shocking
7NEWS

Four children have been rescued from the clutches of a paedophile ring, uncovered by the FBI in America and traced here to Australia.

Police raided homes in WA, NSW, Victoria, Queensland and SA, leading to 16 arrests and a massive 738 charges.

The allegations are disturbing.

The 16 arrested are accused of paying for child abuse material using the dark web.

The arrests come after a two-year international investigation dubbed Operation WALWA.

The operation began in the US, where authorities discovered a sickening website trading in images of abuse.

The investigators eventually led to homes across five Australian states.

In Perth, police raided five homes and arrested four men in Bentley, Crawley, Morley and the Bunbury suburb of Withers.

“Four men aged 24, 59, 60 and 61 were charged with possession of child exploitation material,” WA Police said in a statement.

“Two have been sentenced to jail terms and two are still progressing through the WA courts.”

COVID-19 effect

Police say COVID-19 restrictions are intensifying child exploitation offences because more children are at home and on the internet.

They are urging parents not to become complacent and always know what their children are doing online.

In Victoria, a child was rescued and three people were charged with 632 offences.

In NSW, police rescued another three children and charged three people.

One person was arrested in South Australia and five in Queensland.

One dark, illicit marketplace has been smashed, but police know the problem isn’t over. 

This story first appeared on 7NEWS and has been republished here with permission. 

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