A 37-year-old man believed to be from Ghana has been intercepted shortly after arrival in Australia on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong and charged with possession of a false passport and child exploitation material.

The man arrived at Perth International Airport and presented a Maltese passport at the border, the ABF said.

ABF officers examined the man’s passport and allege that it was fraudulent. His visa was immediately cancelled.

The ABF further alleges that the man’s mobile phone was examined and found to contain videos depicting sexual activity and extreme violence involving children.

A Ghanaian passport was also found amongst the man’s possessions.

The man has been charged with;

  • One count of  Possession of a False Foreign Travel Document under section 22 of the Foreign Passport (Law Enforcement & Security) Act 2005; and
  • One count of Importation of a Prohibited Import being Tier 2 goods under s.233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901.

He appeared in the Perth Magistrate’s Court and was remanded in custody.

ABF Regional Commander for Western Australia, Rod O’Donnell, said trying to enter Australia with false foreign travel documentation is a serious offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of AUD 210,000.

“The ABF has highly trained officers, backed up with state-of-the-art technology, that are able to identify false documents to prevent people crossing the border illegally,” Commander O’Donnell said.

“To protect Australia’s national interests we must know who is entering our country, where they are from and the intent of their visit.”

“Anyone caught trying to circumvent that will face serious consequences.”

The maximum penalty for the importation of child exploitation material is also 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of AUD 525,000.

“The ABF is committed to doing all it can to prevent people bringing this abhorrent material into Australia,” Commander O’Donnell said.

Tackling child exploitation is an operational priority for the ABF as part of its role protecting the border from individuals who may pose a threat to the community.

Edited by Peter Needham