Nine children, some aged as young as two-years-old, have been rescued from child exploitation in the Phillippines following the arrest of an Australian man.
The 61-year-old from Melbourne was charged in November last year for allegedly paying for live-distance child exploitation.
It prompted the Australian Federal Police to alert the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC), who last week launched an operation in Angeles City, that led to the arrest of a 42-year-old woman for her alleged role as the facilitator of online child sexual abuse.
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The children, aged between two and 16-years-old, were also removed from harm.
AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling admitted it is a tough job, but they will never stop protecting children from harm.
“It is heart-breaking work for officers. But for the AFP, it is about the children we save,” Detective Superintendent Crossling said.
“Whether children are in Australia or overseas, our teams never give up because they know that every day we can’t identify a child is another day they are being abused.”
The 61-year-old Victorian man is due to appear in court on 28 February, charged with procuring a child to engage in sexual activity outside of Australia.
It comes after AFP officers executed a search warrant on the man’s Barnawartha home last November, where electronic devices were located containing videos of the man allegedly engaging in sexual activity with female Filipino children.
Since the inception of the PICACC in February 2019, 102 operations have resulted in the rescue of 320 victims.
At least 77 suspects and facilitators have been charged, while Australian-based investigations have led to the arrest and charge of 27 suspects and the removal of 86 children from harm.