By Tara Rippin • 24 October 2020 • 17:27
Tourist bankrolled Australian holiday and scuba diving hobby by selling child sex abuse material online.
THE Belgian tourist, who paid for a trip to Australia and a scuba diving hobby by selling child pornography online, has had his local and offshore assets restrained by an Australian Federal Police-led taskforce.
The man, 26, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, October, 15, is the first offender convicted with child exploitation offences to have his assets restrained since AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw set a “new aggressive strategy for the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT)”.
He was also sentenced to a maximum of four years’ jail, with a non-parole period of two and a half years.
Under the new direction revealed last month, the AFP-led CACT will now actively determine if the assets of child sex offenders can be confiscated.
In this case, restraining orders were placed on two bank accounts – one in Australia and another in Germany – containing almost €18,000.
Camera equipment, a drone, scuba diving gear, worth more than €18,000 were also seized.
The criminal investigation started in February 2019 when the AFP’s Child Protection Operation team in Sydney received a tip-off from the United States-based National Centre for Missing and Exploitation Children that a man in Australia was uploading child abuse to Snapchat.
The man was arrested and charged with supplying child pornography through a carriage service, using a carriage service to access, transmit, make available, publish, distribute, advertising or promote child abuse material, and deal with the proceeds of crime worth $10,000 (€6,000) or more.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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“It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practising medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.228).
Unhindered abuse and neglect typically launches a helpless child towards an adolescence and adulthood in which their brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. And, of course, a life of dysfunctionality and crime, even suicide, can more easily ensue.
Society generally treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs.
By not teaching basic child development science and rearing to high school students, is not society implying that anyone can feel comfortable enough in unconditionally bearing children with whatever minute amount of, if any at all, knowledge they happen to hold?
Many people, including child development academics, would say that we owe our future generations of children this much, especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.
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