25 September 2023

Long arm of the AFP gets longer

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have joined an international team supporting the establishment of a new investigative Centre to counter child sexual exploitation in the Philippines.

Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton said the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC) in Quezon City combined representatives from the Philippine National Police Women and Children’s Protection Centre, the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division and the International Justice Mission.

The AFP provided support as did the United Kingdom National Crime Agency.

“The Philippines has been identified as an alarming focal point for predators who seek to exploit children via pay-per-view livestreamed abuse, with Australians being among the offenders accessing this insidious service,” Minister Dutton said.

“In 2017 alone, the Philippines received 45,645 National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children cyber-tips related to this crime type.”

He said that over the past three years more than 150 Australians registered on the National Child Offender Register had been refused entry to the Philippines and returned to Australia, following the AFP providing advice regarding their travel.

“In 2018, 44 children were rescued from child exploitation premises in the Philippines as a result of collaboration between the AFP and the Philippine National Police,” Mr Dutton said.

“Law enforcement agencies in the Philippines have responded to these crimes by combining forces with Australian and United Kingdom Agencies, and a non-government organisation, to draw together the resources, training and investigative expertise to tackle the exploitation of children together.”

Mr Dutton said Australia remained committed to pursuing predators and removing children from harm anywhere across the world.

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