International child abuse network busted in Australia; 46 kids rescued

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Canberra: Australian police said that they have rescued 46 children and arrested 14 men after a probe into an international child abuse network.

The victims were allegedly subjected to crimes including sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation, the BBC reported.

The investigation also led to three arrests in the US and had identified suspects in Europe, Asia, Canada and New Zealand, authorities said.

The case is believed to be one of the biggest of its kind in Australia.

All victims were aged between 16 months and 15 years old, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said. Sixteen of the victims had attended one childcare centre.

The 14 men faced a total of 828 child exploitation charges, as well as bestiality charges involving four animals.

Authorities said the network had produced and shared images and video online.

One of the most serious cases involved a suspect who had worked in a childcare centre in New South Wales and had access to 30 children, police said.

IANS