The man arrested at Park Beach on Friday by Strike Force Trawler.
The man arrested at Park Beach on Friday by Strike Force Trawler. NSW Police

Covert operation sees man charged with child procurement

A MAN will reappear in court today on child procurement charges after his arrest on a Coffs Harbour beach.

The 37-year-old will front Coffs Harbour Local Court following his arrest at a Coffs Harbour beach on Friday around 10am.

Earlier this year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit commenced an investigation following a referral from the Victoria Police's Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team.

Police will allege in court the man had been communicating online with a young girl from Victoria since 2016 and engaged in highly-sexualised conversations.

Strike Force Trawler investigators conducted a covert online investigation and it will be alleged that the man later arrangements to meet the child in person.

During a search of the man and his vehicle, investigators seized three mobile phones and a computer tablet.

Shortly after the arrest, police executed a search warrant at a home at Stuarts Point, where they seized computers, a laptop, electronic storage devices, and ammunition.

The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with two counts of use carriage service to procure person under 16 years for sex.

He was refused bail and appeared at Coffs Harbour Local Court, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court today.

Investigations are continuing.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the 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.au/



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