Two men have been arrested on the North Coast after they engaged in sexually explicit chat with police officers online, believing them to be underage girls.
The arrests are part of an ongoing covert police operation, Strike Force Trawler.
Police will allege in court that the first man believed he was speaking to a 13-year-old girl, and engaged in sexually-explicit conversations with the supposed child and made arrangements to meet her in person. The meeting did not eventuate.
About 11.20am yesterday (Tuesday, January 9), detectives arrested the 40-year-old man on the Evans River, Evans Head.
Following the arrest, police raided a caravan park at Evans Head and a home in Casino, where they seized several electronic devices, and items of clothing.
The man was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16-years-old for sexual activity.
He was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today (Wednesday 10 January 2018).
In the second investigation, Strike Force officers engaged online with a man from Alstonville in November 2017.
Police will allege in court that this man believed he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl, that he made numerous sexually explicit comments regarding the child, and he sent the supposed child abuse material.
About 2pm on Monday, January 8, detectives arrested a 31-year-old man at a business at Alstonville.
During the arrest, police seized a mobile phone. A number of items were also seized during a raid on a home at Alstonville.
The man was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to groom a person under 16-years-old for sexual activity.
He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Lismore Local Court on Monday 5 February 2018.
Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.
Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU 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 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.