WA link in alleged child stealing syndicate uncovered by Australian Federal Police

A Perth woman is among four charged over an alleged child stealing syndicate.A Perth woman is among four charged over an alleged child stealing syndicate.

A Perth woman and three men will face court after they allegedly helped parents abduct their own children across Australia in contravention of family law orders.

Detectives say as part of a two-year investigation 10 missing children have been located with a parent who had abducted them.

"Five of these are believed to be linked to this group of people," federal police Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz said in a statement on Thursday.  "The actions of this group do not protect children.  What it does is potentially endanger the safety and wellbeing of them."

Australian Federal Police investigators have searched locations in Grafton, Dubbo, Perth, Townsville and a sailing boat in Fremantle which News Corp Australia reports was purchased to aid the abductions.

A 78-year-old Perth woman has been served with a court attendance notice for December.

Two men, aged 63 and 64, have been arrested and charged and are due to face Grafton Local Court on Thursday, while another man, aged 83, is to appear in Townsville Local Court.

It is alleged the 64-year-old was the key financier who organised for two women to abduct their children and hide them from authorities.

He is facing two counts of conspiracy to defeat justice punishable by up to 10 years in jail and deal in the proceeds of crime to the value $100,000 punishable by 15 years in jail.

The 63-year-old man, who is accused of being a co-organiser, also tried to portray the fathers of the children as child abusers on social media and other public forums, according to federal police.

He's been charged with two counts of conspiracy to defeat justice, using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence which carries a maximum term of three years and publishing an account of proceedings.

The 83-year-old Townsville man has been charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime and aiding and abetting the publication of an account of proceedings.

Detectives say the investigation - dubbed Operation Noetic - is ongoing and there could be more arrests to come.

Source : https://thewest.com.au/news/crime/wa-link-in-alleged-child-stealing-syndicate-uncovered-by-australian-federal-police-ng-b88994642z

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