A 20-year-old Mount Isa man has been charged with child sex offences following investigations by Argos and the Ferny Grove Child Protection and Investigation Unit.
The man was arrested this morning when he attended a Taringa fast food business to meet what he believed to be, a 15-year-old girl. He was instead met with detectives from Argos.
The investigation began on 11 January 2021 after a referral from Western Australia Police who received intelligence the man was engaged in inappropriate behaviour with underage females online.
The offender has made contact with an undercover officer from Argos posing as a 15-year-old child on a social media application, engaging in behaviour that will be alleged constitutes the grooming of a child.
It will be alleged that the man travelled from Mount Isa to Brisbane to engage in sexual acts with a female he believed to be a child.
The 20-year-old man was charged with using the internet to procure a child under 16 years of age with a circumstance of aggravation that the offender went to a place with the intention of meeting the child and four counts of grooming a child under 16 years.
The man has been released on bail and is due to appear at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday 16 March.
Detective Inspector Glen Donaldson of Argos said this case highlights the risk posed to children by online predators and urged parents and caregivers to take active and ongoing measures around online safety.
"Supervision is key to prevention, as is ongoing communication with children about how to stay safe online and the dangers of having online 'friends' they have never met face-to-face," Detective Inspector Donaldson said.
"The Queensland Police Service remains committed to working with its partner agencies to target offenders involved in the sexual exploitation of children, and the referral from Western Australia Police highlights the excellent working relationship that the QPS has with interstate agencies.
"Every day Argos has undercover officers working in a range of online platforms to detect and apprehend people who seek to exploit children in our community.
"To those that seek to engage in this predatory behaviour, just remember that the next 'child' that you engage may be a member of Argos."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Google News