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Operation Molto: Sydney man jailed for accessing child abuse material

Editor's note: Vison of the arrest and seized item are available via hightail

The second of two men from South-Western Sydney, charged in Operation Molto for accessing and transmitting child abuse material, has been sentenced to four years' jail.

The 25-year-old man was sentenced last Friday (27 May 2022) in Campbelltown Local Court after pleading guilty in October 2021 to 12 offences relating to photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

Another 25-year-old man arrested as part of this operation was sentenced on 8 October 2021, in the Campbelltown Local Court, after pleading guilty in July 2021 to two offences also relating to photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

The men were investigated as part of Operation Molto, which commenced in 2019 when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received intelligence from New Zealand Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs showing thousands of offenders were using a cloud storage platform to share abhorrent child abuse material online.

In June 2020, investigators from the ACCCE referred a man suspected of accessing child abuse material to the AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations team.

The team, together with Eastern Command Digital Forensics and Eastern Command Imagery and Geomatics, executed search warrants at a residential address in the Sydney suburb of Eagle Vale in September 2020.

Police seized several electronic devices that were found to contain photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

AFP Detective Leading Senior Constable Amanda Thompson said the AFP is dedicated to protecting children from abuse and will work tirelessly to identify offenders.

"We will do continue to do everything in our power to end the abhorrent industry that preys on our community's most vulnerable - children," Detective Leading Senior Constable Thompson said.

"Unfortunately online child abuse material is not rare and we urge parents and the broader community to educate children on how to stay safe online.

"Our message to offenders accessing or exchanging child abuse material is that we will track you down and ensure you face the full force of the law for your actions."

The 25-year-old man sentenced last Friday (27 May) pleaded guilty to eleven offences:

One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to s.474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); Six counts of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material, contrary to s.474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); One count of using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material, contrary to s.474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and Three counts of using a carriage service to cause child abuse material to be transmitted to himself, contrary to s.474.22(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth) (one additional count is to be placed on the s16BA schedule).

His sentence of four years' jail includes a non-parole period of two years and six months.

The other 25-year-old man, sentenced in October 2021, was charged with two offences:

possess/control child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and use carriage service to transmit child abuse material to self, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

He was sentenced to a period of two years and seven months' jail, including a non-parole period of one year and six months.

Operation Molto, which has been finalised, has led to more than 100 Australians being charged with more than 1,000 child-abuse-related offences. The global operation has resulted in 153 children being removed from harm, including 51 children in Australia.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is at the centre of a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Note to media:


Use of the phrase "child pornography" benefits child sex abusers because it:

indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not "pornography".

Media enquiries

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