The arrest of an accused pedophile in Victoria has led to fourteen children being rescued from being sexually abused in the Philippines.
Six girls and eight boys, aged between two and 17, were removed on May 7 after the Australian Federal Police provided intelligence to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre.
The AFP says the Philippine National Police arrested three women and a man in Bombon, in the province of Camarines Sur, accused of facilitating the online child sexual abuse.
Investigators from the Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team, comprising AFP and Victoria Police, tipped off the AFP International Command in the Philippines after charging a 68-year-old man from regional Victoria in March with possession of child abuse material.
The maximum penalty for the offence is 15 years imprisonment.
A computer seized from the man contained child abuse material and records of online chat conversations allegedly facilit ating “pay per view” child abuse content in the Philippines, police alleged in a Victorian court.
Among the evidence seized in the Philippines last week were digital devices containing child sexual exploitation material, a sex toy, and several money transfer receipts showing foreigners as senders.
The child victims have been placed in the care of a local social welfare office.
“Our investigators are dedicated to protecting children in Australia from abuse and work with law enforcement across the world to do the same,” AFP Commander Todd Hunter said on Monday.
The investigation into the Australian man was linked to an earlier Victorian arrest of a man charged by the AFP for allegedly paying for live-streamed child abuse.
Police traced the initial arrest to the Philippines, which led to the rescue of nine children, aged two to 16, and the arrest of a woman by Philippine authorities.