Paedophiles will lose houses, cars in new crackdown on child sex offenders

Paedophiles will be stripped of their assets including cash, cars and homes under new criminal laws introduced by the Australian Federal Police.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton revealed in an exclusive report by The Daily Telegraph police will be given new powers to take assets from criminals who make money exploiting children.

“If a sex offender is found to be profiting or seeking to gain from the exploitation of children, they can expect to have their bank account, their home or even their car seized,’’ he told News Corp.

“We are going to target those who profit from an abhorrent trade in child abuse.’’

The crackdown is in response to a concerning spike in demand from perverted Australians paying to watch children being sexually abused online.

The trend has led to impoverished people in third-world countries filming themselves raping and molesting children on camera for a small fee from Australian subscribers.

RELATED: New laws to target paedophiles

RELATED: Westpac’s child exploitation scandal

AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw said these new powers will allow police to “go after the assets of paedophiles’’ who make money from the horrific abuse.

“It is truly sickening that offenders are profiting from the abuse, degradation and misery of children,’’ he said.

“I make no apologies for using the full force … of the law in our fight to lock these offenders away, and strip them of their tainted assets.

“We will never give up in our fight to rescue the victims and unleash maximum damage to those who do our children harm.’’

The newly created Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) will allow the AFP to treat paedophiles in the same way it treats bikies and drug dealers by following the money trail of online child abusers.

It will consist of a specialised team of police, lawyers, financial investigators, forensic accountants, Australian Taxation Office, Border Force, AUSTRAC and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Police are currently finding up to 80,000 child sex images on devices confiscated by police, up from 1000 images 15 years ago.

Last financial year, the AFP said it laid more than 1200 charges against 161 people and rescued 67 Australian children from being sexually abused.

The extent of the horrific abuse was detailed in Australia last year when AUSTRAC brought charges against major lender Westpac for breaches of money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.

It alleged the bank hadn’t reported more than 19.5 million international fund transfers which amounted to $11 billion dollars.

AUSTRAC alleged part of the more than 23 million contraventions included a failure to carry out due diligence on transactions to the Philippines and South East Asia where child exploitation risks are rife.

“Westpac failed to introduce appropriate detection scenarios to detect known child exploitation typologies, consistent with AUSTRAC guidance and their own risk assessments,” the application noted.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said the “enormous” number of alleged money laundering breaches by Westpac have the potential to facilitate “the most horrendous crimes”.

“Anyone who breaches money laundering laws and therefore allows money to be laundered, has – just as a matter of fact and common sense – contributed to the facilitating of international and domestic crimes of a variety of types,” he told 6PR on Thursday.

“The reason people launder money is to hide the profits of crime and criminality and to fund further crime and criminality, which is why we have such strong laws, such strong penalties and why the Government takes such an incredibly robust approach to money laundering.”



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