Aussie charity head arrested in child exploitation sting

Five South Australians, including a charity co-ordinator and a substitute teacher, have been charged with online child exploitation offences.

The charges come amid a month-long national child exploitation sting called Operation SOUTIEN, fronted by the Australian Federal Police's Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.

A total of 22 people have been arrested and charged with 56 offences, and The Advertiser can confirm five people from SA are involved.

One is a 38-year-old man from Semaphore who is a charity co-ordinator, while another is a male substitute teacher, 55.

The charity co-ordinator was arrested on November 28 and is facing two charges of possessing child exploitation material. He was bailed to appear in court next month.

Meanwhile, the teacher faces one charge of possessing child exploitation material and was bailed to appear in court next week.

The exact details of the charges are still unclear.

Also caught in the national sting are three unemployed men: a 52-year-old from Ridgehaven, a 39-year-old from Sommerton Park and a 34-year-old from Mawson Lakes.

Operation SOUTIEN is the result of extensive "target identification" training conducted by the US-based Child Rescue Coalition in Brisbane.

Detective Superintendent Dan Evans said the operation demonstrated the success of collaboration between Commonwealth and state and territory law enforcement.

"In operations like SOUTIEN we focus on removing children from harm, and training in advanced investigative tools to help us and state and territory police achieve that goal," he said.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child sexual exploitation and abuse are urged to report via the AFP, or to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.



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