More than 150 people have been charged with child pornography offences in the biggest crackdown in Australia. Teachers, police officers, a child care
centre owner and employees of former and present members of state parliament were among them. The typical people next door you would never expect.
More than 2m images were seized, involving children aged 2-16, after raids across the country.
Mike Phelan, head of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, said hundreds more will eventually face charges. Seven children in Brisbane being abused
by a paedophile were identified as part of the police operation. They had been systematically abused for several years by a paedophile who lived in
the same area, police said. "This is a heinous crime that involves real people," Mr Phelan said.
"It has involved high-risk professions and those involved in contact with children including health care professionals, education officials,
department officials and those working within the education environment as well as law enforcement officers," Mr Phelan said.
Justice Minister Chris Ellison said 2,000 charges would be laid, including child sex tourism, sex abuse, and possessing, downloading or distributing
child pornographic images. He (Phelan) said it involved police raids on homes across Australia and was based on intelligence from the US Customs
service about a network of internet sites in Russia and eastern Europe.
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Australian police have also discovered a number of photographic studios in suburban homes apparently designed for the production of child
"(They) are the most extreme that we have ever seen here in the territory," NT Organised and Major Crime Squad acting commander Colleen Gwynne said.
Nevertheless, this awful crimes need to be stopped, they are damaging the kids.
Although there was no comment on the photos themselves, it was mentioned that some of the pornographic material dated back 20 years.
Here is a breakdown of the sweep:
1: Queensland - 55
2: New South Wales - 42
3: Australian Capital Territory - unknown number
4: Victoria - unknown number
5: Tasmania - unknown number
6: South Australia - 7
7: Western Australia - 21
8: Northern Territory - 9