NSW man arrested over child abuse ring

Arkstone detectives made their first arrest after tip-offs from social media companies in February.
Arkstone detectives made their first arrest after tip-offs from social media companies in February.

A Newcastle man has become the 15th person arrested after police uncovered a global paedophile ring alleged to have filmed and shared in the sexual abuse of almost 50 children in Australia.

The 54-year-old was taken into custody on Friday and faces a string of charges, including possessing, soliciting and sharing child abused material. He is also charged with bestiality.

The man will face Newcastle Local Court on Saturday.

A NSW childcare worker, a volunteer soccer coach and a disability support worker are among others arrested during Operation Arkstone since February.

Police made their first arrest after tip-offs from social media companies were passed on by US authorities.

Material seized from the 30-year-old Wyong man's home sparked an nine-month investigation.

Men from NSW, Queensland and Western Australia are accused of preying on 46 children between the ages of 16 months and 15 years to produce and upload abusive material to a range of online platforms.

The 15 are aged between 20 and 54.

More than 140 criminal matters have been referred back to police in Europe, Asia, Canada and New Zealand during the investigation, as well as 18 to the United States where three arrests have been made.

Australian investigators have now laid more than 800 charges and have not ruled out further arrests.

"Our investigators are leaving no stone unturned," AFP Detective Superintendent Ben McQuillan said in a statement.

"They are continuing to examine every piece of evidence seized throughout Operation Arkstone to identify and arrest more alleged members of this online network of child sex offenders."

Australian Associated Press