AFP: Mackay man accused of producing an image and recording that depict the sexual abuse of a boy in the Philippines.
AFP: Mackay man accused of producing an image and recording that depict the sexual abuse of a boy in the Philippines.

Mackay man arrested over overseas child exploitation charge

A 20-YEAR-OLD Mackay resident accused of producing an image and recording that depict the sexual abuse of a boy in the Philippines has been granted bail.

Van Ralph Sangcate Villanueva appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court today charged with using a carriage service to access child pornography material, making child exploitation material and importing child abuse material.

He was granted bail and will next appear in Mackay Magistrates Court on March 24.

The Australian Federal Police is now working with its law enforcement counterparts in Manila to identify the 12-year-old victim and ensure he is safe.

Villanueva was arrested yesterday after Australian Border Force officers selected him for screening when he arrived at Brisbane International Airport on a flight from the Philippines.

Born in the Philippines, Villanueva is an Australian resident who lives in Mackay.

ABF officers examined his baggage and seized three mobile phones, an iPad and a laptop computer.

An initial examination of some of the devices allegedly revealed a photograph and recorded video conversation between the 20 year old and a young boy that were sexually explicit.

ABF referred the matter to investigators from the Queensland Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, who arrested Villanueva.

A forensic examination of the seized electronic devices is ongoing.

AFP Commander investigations northern command Andrew Donoghoe said international borders were no hindrance to child predators.

"The AFP is tireless in our pursuit to stop children suffering sexual abuse, regardless of where they live," Commander Donoghoe said.

"We are committed to working with our state and international partners to take all necessary action to protect children in Australia and internationally from sexual exploitation."

ABF Regional Commander QLD, Chris Waters said there would be no tolerance towards attempts from visitors or citizens trying to import objectionable and offensive materials into the country.

"Tackling child exploitation is an operational priority for the ABF and our officers are highly skilled at identifying people at our airports who are involved in, or carrying this abhorrent material," he said.


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