An international paedophile ring with New Zealand connections has been exposed by police, saving four children from further abuse, police say.
Aaron John Ellmers, 41, appeared in Hastings District Court today where he pleaded guilty to about 60 charges including sexual violation of children, stupefying, making an intimate visual recording, dealing in people for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a child under 12.
He was remanded in custody for sentence in the High Court at Hastings in May.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said it was at the "absolute highest end'' of child sexual offending in the country, and successfully argued for sentencing to be moved to the High Court.
Ellmers also had a previous conviction for similar offending in Australia, the court was told.
People like this should not be out in the community without some sort of warning about their background. Here is a man who was already convicted in Australia, yet he comes over here and does the same things before being caught again.
Two other New Zealand men, in Canterbury and Auckland, also face several charges including sexual violation of children and making, possessing and distributing child abuse images, police said.Wow. It's going to be my mission to start documenting just how many of these types were have here. I've been letting these stories slip for too long.
The arrests follow a police operation targeting paedophiles in New Zealand and overseas which began in July last year and involved staff across the country including Northland, Auckland, eastern, Canterbury and southern districts.
As a result, four New Zealand children, aged 13 months to 13 years, had been saved from further abuse and police had made 35 referrals to authorities in Australia, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada, said Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, head of OCEANZ, which is part of the National Criminal Investigations Group.
It is my belief that we are very lax on paedophilia in this country, not really treating it as the very serious crime that it is. I wonder if these men will actually serve time in prison, or if they'll just get a slap on the wrist. It'll be interesting. I personally think they should be put away for at least twenty years.
Thanks to Mzala for the reminder and the link to this story.
Related link: NZ police bust paedophile ring ~ NZ Herald