Man charged over pornography ring

A 37-YEAR-old Grafton man is due to appear in court today over his alleged involvement in an international paedophile and child pornography ring.

The man, who was arrested last year, is claimed to be one of close to 200 suspected paedophiles arrested in an international investigation.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) claims the suspects were members of an online child abuse forum, with thousands of members worldwide.

The AFP began an investigation in August 2007.

AFP manager investigations of the high tech crime operations Grant Edwards said the AFP had removed four children from harmful situations and arrested 31 suspected offenders since the operation started in 2007.

“The Australian suspects in this operation are aged between 19 years and 84 years, including four suspects we will allege were senior members of this syndicate,” he said.

During the operation the AFP worked alongside the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Europol and police in New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands.

The website has now been taken down.

It attempted to operate as a “discussion only” forum where people could share their sexual interest in young boys without committing any specific offences, thus operating “below the radar”.

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