Troubling problem lurking in Aussie airports
FOUR travellers a week are being busted at Australian Airports for bringing objectionable material into the country on their mobile phones and computers ranging from terrorist propaganda to child exploitation video and photos.
Travellers from all around the world such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Sierra Leone, China and India are being caught with child exploitation material as they travel through Australian Airports.
Saudi national Abdullah Yousef Al Ahmed was charged last week after Australian Border Force officials allegedly found multiple videos of child exploitation when they searched his two mobile phones and a laptop during a search of his baggage.
He arrived from Malaysia and was planning to stay in Australia on a tourist visa.
The 20-year-old was charged with intentionally importing a prohibited good into Australia and was refused bail to appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.
There he was granted bail to appear in September and must report to police daily, live at a Seven Hills address and he had to surrender his passport.
The maximum penalty for importing or exporting child exploitation material is $525,000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years.
On Tuesday a Malaysian national was also found in possession of child exploitation material after officers found two videos and 20 photos on his mobile phone at Melbourne Airport.
The 38-year-old was using an Electronic Travel Authority which allows a person to travel to Australia multiple times in a 12-moth period. His visa was cancelled and he is in an immigration detention centre.
A day later a second Malaysian man had his visa cancelled and was kicked out of Australia after officers say they found "abhorrent" material on his mobile phone at Perth airport.
The 43-year-old allegedly had a number of videos depicting extreme sexual depravity and violence on his mobile phone.
The ABF made 186 seizures of objectionable material in 2017-18.
The issue of child exploitation material has become such a problem earlier this year the Federal Government established the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation to better co-ordinate federal agencies such as the ABF.
NSW Regional Commander Danielle Yannopoulos said the ABF had a zero tolerance approach to child exploitation material.
"Individuals who possess, view and trade child exploitation material pose a real risk to the Australian community and are supporting a trade that exploits vulnerable young people internationally," she said.
"Child exploitation is a global issue, and is not limited to any nationality. Recently we've detected passengers from Malaysia, Sierra Leone, China and India, but we also see Australian citizens both arriving and departing with child exploitation material.
"This is not a pleasant part of an ABF officer's job at the border but it is one of paramount importance in protecting our community and I commend the skill and professionalism of the officers involved in this case.
"We have mechanisms in place to support our officers who are exposed to this material."