The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

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Internal Affairs, NZ Customs and US Customs action, 8 months jail for Internet child pornography trader


Cooperation between the Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand Customs and United States Customs led to a Mangakino man today being sentenced to eight months jail on 39 child pornography charges.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that in July 2001, US Customs advised the Department that they had detected a New Zealander offering to trade child pornography on the Internet.

During a US Customs operation, the New Zealander had sent a US Customs agent a CD ROM containing 800 child sex pictures, including pictures of young girls aged between five and 13 being sexually abused by adult men.

Later that month, Department Inspectors tracked the New Zealander to a Mangakino address, identified the man, and executed a search warrant on his house.

They seized a computer, CD ROMs and videotapes. Forensic analysis of the computer and CD ROMs showed that they contained 36,178 pictures, 262 movies, 133 text files and 19 zip files. Because of the large volume involved, a random sample of the images was assessed and more than two thirds of them were found to be of children being sexually abused.

In November 2001 he absconded to Australia. The court issued a warrant for his arrest and NZ Customs was advised to be on the alert for his arrival back in New Zealand. Investigations by the Department and Customs found that he had gone to Perth.

The defendant returned to New Zealand in November last year, and Customs identified him as he came through Auckland International Airport.

“Customs then conducted a baggage search on the defendant's luggage and detained his computer,” Customs National Manager Investigations Matt Roseingrave said. “We investigated the computer and it was found to have at least 1,500 objectionable images on it. These were additional to the ones previously found by the Department.”

Last month the man had pleaded guilty to 21 charges of trading child pornography and 16 charges of possessing child pornography. Today he pleaded guilty to two Customs charges, one of importing objectionable material and one of making false declarations.

He appeared for sentencing today, was jailed and the Court also ordered forfeiture and destruction of his computers and objectionable material. He is 64 and is unemployed.

“This case highlights the importance and effectiveness of co-operation between enforcement agencies,” Mr Manch said. “We work closely with Customs and Police in New Zealand, and in the last year have also worked with United States, Canadian, Australian, British, German and Norwegian enforcement agencies, and with Interpol.

“New Zealanders who choose to trade child pornography will eventually be caught. It is not just the Department’s unit of Internet specialists that is looking for them. Customs and Police also play important roles, and there is good international co-operation.

“Just as the Internet has improved communications and makes the distribution of child pornography easier, it also helps enforcement agencies. Offenders leave an electronic trail that we can track, and we, like the offenders, can share information in an instant.”

Mr Manch said that concerted international effort is put into combating child pornography because it is an international trade centred on the abuse of children: “a child is abused to create each image. Action against child pornography is about helping protect children from abuse.

“Collecting and trading the images incites more abuse. Offenders want to constantly expand their collections and demand increasingly extreme images.

“This case shows that effective co-operation between enforcement agencies prevents offenders hiding behind borders. Convictions and publicity are intended as a deterrent to the offender and any others considering using child pornography.”


The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 prohibits objectionable material, including child pornography.

Penalties under the Act include fines of up to $20,000 or up to one year in jail per charge for trading objectionable material, and fines of up to $2,000 per charge for possession.

This conviction was the fifth in New Zealand this year, and the 16th in the last 12 months. He was the second Mangakino man convicted in that time.

Media contact:

Department of Internal Affairs

Keith Manch
General Manager Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270

New Zealand Customs Service

Rochelle Bexley
Communications Advisor Phone 09 359 6507, Cellular 029 251 3167