Argentinian man jailed for possessing more than 4,000 files of child abuse material

Wed 17-05-2023 11:13 am AEST

Editor’s Note: Photos from the arrest and audio grabs from AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham are available via hightail.

An Argentinian national was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the Sydney Downing Centre District Court on 15 May 2023 for secretly filming children and possessing thousands of child abuse material files.

The man, 44, was charged with multiple child abuse-related offences by the AFP after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers searched his baggage at Sydney International Airport and located child abuse material on multiple electronic devices.

He arrived into Sydney from Singapore on 21 May 2022 and was selected for a routine baggage examination where ABF officers located a tablet, mobile phone, hard drive, 11 micro-SD cards and six USBs, some with child abuse material on them.

On identification of possible child abuse material, ABF officers reported the matter to the AFP, which seized the devices for further examination and arrested the man for possessing child abuse material.

More than 4,000 child abuse material files were located on the tablet, mobile phone, hard drive, eight micro-SD cards and one USB, including photos and videos recorded by the offender.

Further examination of the child abuse material in one of the devices resulted in three children being rescued in the Philippines in March 2023.

The rescue operation was conducted by the Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTRAD) of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) based on AFP International Command in the Philippines facilitating the referral of information into the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC).

The man pleaded guilty to four offences at the Sydney Downing Centre District Court on 21 December 2022.

  • One count of import tier 2 goods, contrary to section 233BAB of the Customs Act (Cth);
  • One count of possess or control child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Once count of possess child abuse material, contrary to section 91H of the Crimes Act (NSW); and
  • One count of record intimate image without consent, contrary to section 91P of the Crimes Act (NSW).

The man was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of one year and six months. He is eligible for release on 20 November 2023.

AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Adam Barcham said there is no one agency that can tackle the spread of child abuse material alone.

“The AFP works closely with its law enforcement partners to identify offenders and hold them accountable for their actions,” Det-A/Sgt Barcham said.

“It is through strong partnerships that we can stop offenders from aiding an industry that treats children like commodities to be abused and exploited.” 

AFP Acting Liaison Officer Philippines, Detective Acting Sergeant Natalie Roesler said the AFP worked closely with its partners in the Philippines to share information and identify vulnerable children.

“The AFP, as one of five founding agencies and partner of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC), continues close cooperation with PICACC partner agencies in driving a collaborative response to counter the exploitation of children in the region,” Det-A/Sgt Roesler said.

ABF Superintendent Brett Totten said the sentencing outcome reinforced the importance of ABF officers at the border acting on the suspected importation of child abuse material.

“ABF officers located a substantial amount of child abuse material on digital devices in this passenger’s luggage, referring the matter to the AFP for further investigation and international disruption,” Superintendent Totten said.

“Locating and removing child victims from further harm is the most important element of these investigations. The ABF continues to work side by side with our law enforcement partners to prevent child exploitation wherever it occurs.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.

The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE at If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available at

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit

Note to media:


The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
  • conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297