Shocking 'pedo nest' discovered as 45 people are charged after 3 children rescued

Police seized 35,222 images and videos of child exploitation material during their week-long search

Shocking 'pedo nest' discovered as 45 people are charged after 3 children rescued
The 45 suspects were charged with 149 offences (Daily Mail screenshots)
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As many as 45 West Australians have been charged for their involvement in a paedophile ring after three children were rescued following a statewide sweep. The Australian Federal Police, WA Police, and Australian Border Force spent a week looking for alleged offenders involved in the manufacture, distribution and possession of child exploitation material. They reportedly executed more than 60 search warrants across Western Australia.

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The 45 suspects were charged with 149 offences. Police seized 35,222 images and videos of child exploitation material during their week-long search. Three children were rescued from child sexual abuse they were allegedly being out through.

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The AFP led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received more than 33,000 reports of child exploitation in 2021, which was double the number of reports received the year before that. AFP Detective Superintendent Graeme Marshall said the arrests were proof of how predators are identified, arrested and prosecuted law enforcement. 

"These figures show the scale of the problem and how we need everyone in the community – parents, teachers, carers - to be alert," Marshall said, according to the Daily Mail. "Let this serve as a warning to anyone who produces or shares child abuse material - you will be caught."

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According to Detective Superintendent Gordon Fairman from the WA Police Sex Crime Division, rescuing children from sexual abuse is considered the highest priority. "People who manufacture, distribute or possess Child Exploitation Material may believe they are anonymous, hiding behind a computer," he said. "Let me tell you that they are not. As this operation shows, we can identify them, we can locate them and we can prosecute them. The AFP, together with our State, Commonwealth and international partners remain committed to identifying, arresting and prosecuting those who seek to exploit and harm our community's most vulnerable – our children."

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This crackdown coincides with the beginning of National Child Protection Week (NCPW), which runs from September 4 to September 10. According to the NPCAN website, "National Child Protection Week will be looking at what works to keep children safe and supported… what children are telling us… what families are telling us… what the evidence is telling us… and how to translate this knowledge into action.

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"We know that too many children are not growing up safe and supported and that Child Protection systems are overloaded. There are many opportunities to change the trajectory for these children," the website adds. "We can stop child abuse and neglect – and reduce its impact – by working together to make sure every child in every community has a fair go."

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