A 57-year-old Heathcote man was arrested on March 22 as Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police executed warrants at 20 properties across Victoria.
As a result, 20 people were arrested for accessing online child abuse materials.
The charges for the operation include possess child exploitation material, access child exploitation material, transmit child exploitation material, and use a carriage service for child pornography.
A number of items were seized from the properties including computers, tablets, mobile phones, child sex dolls, illegal fireworks, a samurai sword, and drugs including cannabis and GHB.
Police also conducted checks to see if any children were at risk or identified as victims of sexual abuse due to their connection with those arrested or the properties raided during the operation.
Investigators said the 57-year-old is expected to be charged on summons.
Operation P2P was designed to identify and apprehend people involved in accessing, downloading and distributing child abuse material via Peer to Peer (P2P) networks online.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said Operation P2P is about targeting and highlighting what is a growing issue for law enforcement across the world.
“Child exploitation images and online child sexual offences are some of the fastest growing crimes across the world,” DC Patton said.
“This is fuelled by rapidly advancing technology and new social media platforms where the ability for offenders to create, share and consume this material grows every day.”
DC Patton also said it was important to target people who view and share these materials online given the potential for offences to escalate.
“We know there are links between this type of online activity and contact offending, so it’s important that we target anyone prepared to source this type of material in any way,” he said.
“There is clear evidence that child exploitation material is sometimes used for grooming and seducing victims.
“These are not simply online choices made for sexual gratification – they are abhorrent crimes against children, the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Offences for the possession, distribution and access of child abuse carry penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment in Victoria.
Anyone in the community with information about child exploitation material or related activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to crimestoppersvic.com.au