Hundreds of sickos stopped from preying on children
HUNDREDS of paedophiles looking to prey on Australian children have been stopped at the border as authorities clamp down on sick sex tourists.
As well as child exploitation material being seized from 223 passengers at airports last year, there has been an explosion in the number of perverts using their home computers to join child sex rings.
Two teachers, aged 33 and 52, are among the men arrested in Sydney over the past year in joint operations between the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
The men are allegedly among the 17,893 reports received by the AFP of Australian IP addresses used to access online child exploitation material last year, up from 9741 reports in 2017.
The names of convicted paedophiles listed on the Australian National Child Offenders Register are red-flagged at points of international departure across the country.
While border authorities cannot stop them travelling, unless they are subject to restrictions, as part of the clampdown they automatically alert their counterparts in known child sex destinations including Indonesia - and particularly Lombok, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines - so the Australian nationals can be denied entry.
AFP Manager Child Protection and Cyber Operations Commander David McLean said they tracked Australian Registered Child Sex Offenders abroad irrespective of whether they registered their departure from Australia.
He said the use of anonymising software such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN), P2P platforms and the dark web by offenders to hide or disguise their illegal activities had led to an increase in access to this kind of material.
Online sexual offences and child exploitation images are some of the fastest growing crimes worldwide, Acting Assistant Commissioner Claire Rees from ABF Port Operations Command, said.
"Child exploitation is a global issue and the ABF actively works with our law enforcement partners investigating these matters domestically and internationally and to prevent any harm to children here or overseas," she said.
"The ABF has a zero tolerance approach to child exploitation and our officers are alert to the threat of travellers of concern and persons who may be seeking to travel with, or send abhorrent material both in and out of Australia."
She said 62 people were deported after having their visas cancelled for offences related to child exploitation in 2018.
An internet sting across Victoria and Tasmania last year led to 20 men, including a primary school teacher, aged between 18 and 72 being arrested for downloading and distributing child abuse material via peer to peer platforms.
Police said the vile material involved babies and so called "hurtcore".
The arrests led to four children being rescued from homes in the US.
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said she was aware of the police crackdown and praised law enforcement authorities for their work.