The Australian Federal Police have seized the home of an alleged pedophile in an Australian first.
The AFP alleges the man was ordering and instructing child sexual abuse happening in South-East Asia, and watched it online from the Adelaide property.
It is the first time the AFP has seized the home of an alleged child sex offender.
It has done so under laws used to restrain and then confiscate the homes, goods and cash of outlaw motorcycle gangs, serious organised crime syndicates and drug dealers.
The man is not accused of profiting from his crimes.
In a statement, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the action was part of a “more aggressive strategy to fight the insidious crime of child sexual abuse and exploitation”.
“This significant civil action by the CACT [Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce] should be a warning to anyone who preys on children,” he said.
“Should the CACT be successful in court, and orders are made to confiscate the man’s home, the proceeds of the sale of the home will be redistributed to support crime prevention and other community initiatives, including those which protect our children.”
Winning the civil case would not require as high a bar as the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.
The investigation into the man’s alleged criminal activity began in February when Australian Border Force officers examined his baggage when he arrived on a flight into Melbourne from Singapore.
The ABF allegedly found child abuse material on his mobile phone and referred the matter to the AFP.
The man was charged for possessing the illegal content.
The case was allocated to the South Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, the specialist taskforce made up of AFP and South Australia Police officers who investigate child exploitation offences in SA.
The man was arrested and charged with further offences in April.
He has not yet entered a plea to the criminal charges and is next expected to appear in court in 2021.
The seizure of his house on November 13 was revealed on Tuesday.
The AFP would not reveal where in Adelaide it was or any other details about the accused man.