AFP-led ACCCE and ANZ join forces to combat child sexual abuse

Tue 25-06-2024 12:06 pm AEST

Editor’s note: Images of the signing of Letter of Exchange and audio grabs are available via Hightail.

The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) and ANZ have joined forces in an effort to target and disrupt potential child sex offenders under a new agreement.

The joint agreement will see an ANZ specialist embed within the ACCCE to assist with the real-time tracking of suspicious financial transactions and movements of cash in Australia and offshore in order to identify potential criminal activity more quickly and effectively.

ANZ is the first financial institution to embed a specialist into the ACCCE to support the AFP’s efforts to tackle child abuse through providing a formal commitment to real-time intelligence sharing.

The Letter of Exchange (LoE) will see a participant from ANZ’s Financial Crime Team join the ACCCE’s Intelligence Fusion Cell, following the signing of the agreement from both agencies today (Monday 24 June, 2024). The agreement remains in effect for a period of 12 months.

The aim of the new partnership is to formalise and facilitate enhanced collaboration between ANZ and law enforcement to better target and prosecute offenders paying for or selling sexually abusive material of children to users around the world for profit.

AFP Commander Human Exploitation Helen Schneider from the ACCCE said the power of this collaboration would strengthen the AFP’s efforts in identifying, locating and rescuing victims and children at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation.

“Child sexual abuse offenders can earn significant amounts of money from harming and abusing children and this new partnership between the AFP and ANZ will help our investigators to target and disrupt criminals involved in sextortion, live online child sexual abuse, and organised child sexual abuse networks,” Cmdr Schneider said.

“The partnership between the AFP and ANZ is an important collaboration that will help strengthen the investigative capabilities of both agencies, working together to share real time intelligence to dismantle child sexual abuse networks in an efficient manner.

“The AFP will continue to use our resources to counter serious crimes against children, and this new agreement demonstrates we can achieve the most effective outcomes when working with our partners.”

ANZ Executive and Head of Financial Crime Threat Management Milan Gigovic said ANZ has long supported the AFP’s work to combat serious crime types like money laundering, cybercrime, terrorism, fraud, and child exploitation.

“Our dedicated financial crime team design specialised algorithms to detect potential threats against the most vulnerable members of our communities. Our people utilise sophisticated in-house built intelligence tools to analyse billions of transactions from across the financial services sector and produce actionable intelligence to ensure perpetrators of serious crimes are swiftly identified and brought to justice,” Mr Gigovic said.

“The complex and cross-border nature of many financial crimes means that more than ever before we need strong collaboration across industry, law enforcement and government. By having a dedicated resource embedded in the ACCCE to share industry insights and financial intelligence, ANZ will play a crucial role in aiding the AFP and its partners to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute child sex offenders.”

The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the 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. 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.

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 the ThinkUKnow website, 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 the ACCCE website.

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.