At least nine caught up in international child-porn sting

OWEN JACQUES - APN NEWSDESKAT LEAST nine New South Wales men - mostly from areas surrounding Sydney and Newcastle - have been caught by an international operation cracking down on child exploitation.

Two teachers from Cowra and Emu Plains, a Catholic priest from The Rocks and a former priest from Lake Haven were arrested by New South Wales authorities as part of the Australia Federal Police's involvement in Canadian-led sting on child-exploitation videos and images released from a North American website.

Others from Wyoming, Werrington, Marylands, Freshwater and Satur will also face charges.

Under the AFP's Operation ThundererCORRECT, state and territory police arrested 65 people who have now been charged with 399 offences.

The three-year investigation named Project Spade was revealed overnight by Canadian authorities who handed a list of suspects using the child exploitation website to Australian police.

It allowed authorities here to act on 103 search warrants, leading to the arrest of 65 people for 399 offences.

As a result of investigations 386 children have been removed from harm worldwide, including six in Australia.

NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad's Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec CORRECT said there would be no reprieve for those involved in trying to sexually exploit children.

"Behind every child abuse image there is a real victim who has been sexually exploited and abused, and we need to do everything we can to remove these children from harm and arrest those involved in that exploitation," he said.

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