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Minister congratulates State and Federal Police on major online child exploitation operation



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THE HON. MICHAEL KEENAN MP MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday, 15 November 2013

MINISTER CONGRATULATES STATE AND FEDERAL POLICE ON MAJOR ONLINE CHILD EXPLOITATION OPERATION

Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, today congratulated federal and state police for their work in a global investigation into a child exploitation website operating out of Canada.

Sixty-five Australians were arrested and more than 399 charges laid as part of Operation Thunderer, which uncovered a large international network of people accessing child-exploitation materials.

“This is a fantastic result for law enforcement across the country with Australian police bringing numerous offenders to account and removing six children from harm.

“The exploitation of our most vulnerable members of society cannot be tolerated. To prey on and exploit children is a horrific crime and those offenders must be brought to justice,” Minister Keenan said.

Led by the Toronto Police Service, the investigation identified more than 330 suspects worldwide and more than 380 children at risk. The Australian Federal Police and State and Territory police conducted 103 search warrants across the country before making 65 arrests.

“This operation highlights the importance of collaboration and cooperation across all law enforcement agencies, both domestically and internationally.”

“I would like to congratulate police across the country and overseas on their diligence in protecting children worldwide.

“It is important that governments and law enforcement agencies do everything we can to protect Australian kids from predators like these,” Minister Keenan said.

Agencies involved in the operation included the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police, Victoria Police, South Australia Police, Western Australia Police, Queensland Police, Northern Territory Police and Tasmania Police.

Media Adviser: Tim Wellington - 0409 785 159