Queensland police sting finds five men trying to meet a child for sex

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Five men who thought they were chatting online in an alleged attempt to prey on a child have been charged with sex crimes after a Queensland police plug.

The accused, aged between 22 and 58, did not know each other or that the “parent” they were allegedly talking to online were actually officers from a special police task force investigating the exploitation and abuse of children, Argos.

Gold Coast police coordinated with Argos detectives and swooped over the past four days, with arrests made at flats, at a bus stop and in a driveway.

Five men charged with child sexual offenses by Queensland police.
The men spoke to detectives online to arrange access to a child. (Queensland Police)

Police allege the men used the internet to “meet and gain access to a child” with the intention of engaging in sexual acts.

The accused face a number of child sex crimes:

  • A 58-year-old Mermaid Waters man was charged with grooming a parent or carer of a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of procuring a child for a sexual act
  • A 25-year-old Mermaid Beach man was charged with grooming a parent or caregiver of a child under the age of 16 with intent to procure a child for a sexual act and solicitation of child abuse material using a transportation service
  • A 22-year-old Southport man was charged with grooming a parent or carer of a child under 16 with intent to procure a child for a sexual act
  • A 28-year-old man from Upper Coomera was charged with grooming a parent or carer of a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of obtaining a child for a sexual act
  • A 45-year-old Helensvale man was charged with grooming a parent or carer of a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of procuring a child for a sexual act

They will appear in court between November 29 and December 6.

Five men have been charged with child sexual offenses after Queensland police chanted about child exploitation on the Gold Coast. (Queensland Police)

Detective Acting Inspector Cameron Burke said police will continue to target offenders who “seek to sexually exploit children online”.

“This operation also highlights the need for parents and carers to have regular conversations with their children about online safety and the importance of having an adult they can confide in if they are worried about an online experience or feel unsafe,” said Burke.

Five men charged with child sexual offenses by Queensland police.
The police sting led to the five men being charged with child sex. (Queensland Police)

Detective Acting Inspector Greg Aubort said police stings like this bring out offenders who lurk online with the aim of grooming and abusing children.

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