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Local man snared in child porn sting

A 64-YEAR-OLD Northern Rivers man has been summonsed by the Australian Federal Police as part of an international operation targeting a child pornography ring.

NSW Police Minister David Campbell said state police and the Australian Federal Police were expected to make more arrests as part of the six-month Operation Centurion.

Ninety people - including a policeman, teachers and a sports administrator - have been arrested across Australia as a result of the sting. Twenty-three of the arrests were in NSW. Police said some of them were previously known to authorities.

The operation was triggered when a hacker posted child porn images on a European website, which attracted 12 million hits in just 76 hours. More than 2800 of the computer IP addresses were traced back to Australia.

"I think most of us would be appalled to learn that school teachers and other professional workers in the community have been involved in this ring," Mr Campbell said.

The police operation is part of a wider Interpol investigation involving 170 countries.

Four children, dependants of alleged offenders, have been removed from their homes, deemed to be in danger, but police could not confirm whether they appeared in any of the seized images or what state they were from.

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said the children in the images were not in passive positions and were being abused.

"Some of the images involved adults as well as children. The children ranged from babies to 18 years of age.

"The real tragedy of this is that we don't know the origins of a lot of these children. We don't know whether these children are still being abused."


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