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Customs arrest Rotorua man for child sexual abuse materials

11.23am 10 February 2023 | News

A 33-year-old Rotorua man was arrested by Customs yesterday for possessing and importing child sexual abuse materials.

He is scheduled to appear in Court today (10 February), facing a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. 

Customs investigators had caught him downloading a video depicting child sexual exploitation from an overseas internet address.

He was arrested at his home in Ōwhata yesterday, 9 February, following a search warrant, which uncovered a hard drive with more child sexual exploitation material. Further charges may result from in-depth forensic analysis of the man's devices.

Simon Peterson, Chief Customs Officer - Child Exploitation Operations Team, says people who view and share child sexual abuse material need to recognise that this is not a victimless crime.

“Online child abuse remains an increasing threat but our investigators, alongside our domestic and international partners, work relentlessly to uncover and pursue abusers and users.

“This arrest should serve as a warning that Customs is dedicated to bringing those who commit these offences before the Courts,” Mr Peterson said.

If you have concerns or suspicions about someone who may be trading in or producing child sexual abuse images or videos, contact Customs confidentially on 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you are, or know of, someone who is at risk or being abused, contact the Police immediately.