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Sickening Find at Sydney Airport Leads to 16 Kids Rescued from Child Sexual Abuse Ring

16 children, some as young as 10, have been rescued from child sexual abuse ring in the Phillipines, thanks to the combined efforts of the Australian and Filipino Police.

This is believed to be the highest number of children saved from child sexual abuse at one time in the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre’s history.

Children as young as 10 rescued from child sexual abuse

The Australian Federal Police released a media statement and photos of some of the children being rescued from four locations in the Philipines where they were being held and abused. Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

All the children have been placed into the care of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The rescue demonstrates just how important international partnerships are for stopping child predators. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC), have worked together for several months to bring this operation down.

Started in Sydney airport 

The investigation started in January 2023 when Australian Federal Police searched a Queensland man’s luggage at the Sydney Airport.

They allegedly uncovered material and messages about the Queensland man’s alleged plan to pay a third party to sexually abuse children in the Philippines.

The AFP passed this information on to the Philippines National Police and PICACC and has been working with them ever since.

16 children found in four locations 

On 30 May 2023, the Queensland man, 56, failed to show up for court. He has been charged with intentionally importing tier two goods (which includes child abuse material), possessing child abuse material or using a carrier service, and grooming a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside of Australia, according to the Daily Mail.

On June 22 and 23 the PNP executed warrants at four locations in Taguig and Nueva Vizcaya, in the country’s north, where 16 children were found. They will continue their search for additional children involved in the operation.

‘Children’s lives have been irrecoverably damaged’ 

AFP Senior Officer in Manila, Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins said the disturbing case highlights why international partnerships are essential to stopping child predators.

“This case highlights how vital it is for law enforcement agencies to share intelligence and resources globally, because predators are not confined by borders,” Det Supt Perkins said.

“This is a record number of children rescued in a single operation and we are grateful to be able to support the efforts of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre to remove these children from harm.

However, these children’s lives have been irrecoverably damaged and we know there are too many other children still at risk.

That is why we will never give up our fight to keep children safe and stop those who try to exploit or abuse them.”

The AFP and the PICACC have worked together to rescue several victims of child sexual abuse in the past, including a six-year-old girl who was rescued last month.

Chief of the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Centre, Police Colonel Portia Manalad said collaboration is essential to its operation.

“We must collaborate with our international partners, such as the AFP, to arrest offenders and rescue child victims,” she said.

Helplines and specialist support services can help children who have experienced child sexual abuse or engaged in harmful sexual behaviour. These services can also help families. For immediate safety concerns or to report concerns, contact the police and child protection service in your state or territory. For a list of services, visit Raising Children.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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