Malaysian man arrested for importing 900 child pornography images in Australia

 Melbourne airport
Melbourne airport Reuters

A Malaysian resident was arrested by the Australian police for allegedly carrying hundreds of child porn images and videos into the country last week.

Australian Border Force (ABF) said that when the officers searched the 27-year-old accused, they found more than 900 images and videos, related to child exploitation, from the man's laptop and mobile phone.

ABF confirmed that on March 22, when the man arrived at the Melbourne International Airport from Kuala Lumpur, the officers caught and arrested the accused.

The officials from ABF said in a statement on Sunday, March 25 that the Malaysian was charged with Importing Tier 2 goods, Known as Child Exploitation Material, under Section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901.

The man was brought to the Melbourne Magistrates Court on March 23 and he was remanded until June 29.

In Australia, a convict has to provide penalties for breaching the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. For a higher level of offences, which includes Tier 1 and Tier 2 a convict has to face higher penalties.

While Tier 1 offences currently attract penalties of up to $110,000 in fines and/or five years imprisonment, Tier 2 currently attracts penalties of $275,000 and /or 10 years imprisonment.

Wieth effect from December 16, 2009 'commercial quantities' of objectionable goods are listed as Tier 1 goods under the Customs Regulations 1926. The new penalties apply to the import or export of objectionable goods above a set threshold or the import of objectionable goods for a prescribed purpose.

Tier 1 penalties apply to categories of objectionable material defined in the Customs Regulations 1926 as either:

i) The import or export of 25 items or more; or

ii) Goods imported for the purpose of (a) selling the good; (b) letting the good for hire; (c) by way of trade, offering or exposing the good for sale or hire; (d) distributing the good for the purpose of trade; or (e) exhibiting or displaying the good in public.

The new provisions do not affect the existing Tier 2 penalties for more serious offences involving child pornography and child abuse material.