Police arrested a 47-year-old man in the Coffs Harbour area on Tuesday and charged him with a number of offences.
Police arrested a 47-year-old man in the Coffs Harbour area on Tuesday and charged him with a number of offences.

Traps sprung on alleged online child predators

A SIX-MONTH police investigation of online child sexual exploitation has led to the arrest of two men in two days on the NSW North Coast.

On Wednesday morning, officers from the Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit's Strike Force Trawler arrested a 37-year-old in Yamba and executed a search warrant on a home in Maclean.

It was the task force's second arrest in two days after detectives arrested a 47-year-old man in the Coffs Harbour area on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old was charged after allegedly grooming a child online for sex following an investigation by detectives from the State Crime Command's Sex Crimes Squad.

Police media said strike force officers began engaging online with a man from the Clarence Valley in November 2016.

Police will allege in court the man believed he was speaking to a 15-year-old girl and engaged in numerous sexually-explicit conversations with the "child". He was arrested around 10am yesterday.

The man was taken to Maclean Police Station and charged with using a carriage service to groom persons under 16.

He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Grafton Local Court on Monday, June 5.

Police will allege the man arrested in the Coffs Harbour area believed he was speaking to a 13-year-old girl.

They allege he engaged in numerous sexually-explicit conversations and made arrangements to meet for sex.

Detectives also executed a search warrant at a home in Woolgoolga, where they seized a computer and electronic storage devices.

The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with two counts of using a carriage service to groom persons under 16, and using a carriage service to procure persons under 16.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing Child Exploitation Internet Unit investigation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: nsw.crimestoppers.com.au


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