A 33-year-old man will face Penrith Local Court today after being charged with online child procurement as part of a greater investigation into online child abuse.
The man was arrested by detectives in a car park on High Street, Penrith at about 3.30pm yesterday.
Strike Force Trawler officers began engaging online with the man from the state’s south coast last month.
Police will allege in court the man believed he was speaking to a 14-year-old boy and made numerous sexually explicit comments to the child, and made arrangements to meet with him.
Shortly after his arrest, Strike Force detectives, with the assistance of officers from Penrith and Far South Coast Local Area Commands executed search warrants at a hotel room at Penrith and a home at Moruya.
During the searches, police seized a number of items including a laptop, and two mobile phones.
The man was taken to Penrith Police Station and charged with ‘use carriage service to procure persons under 16’.
He was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today.
Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) investigation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.
Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the Child Exploitation Internet Unit and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.
Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.