Couple facing child exploitation charges
A Te Awamutu couple is facing a string of charges relating to the exploitation and abuse of "very young" children on the internet.
At least one of the young children is believed to be from New Zealand.
An international police inquiry, originating in Italy and involving Interpol, led to the arrest of the 37-year-old man and his 32-year-old partner for alleged offences, including the exploitation of young boys.
They were arrested on June 20 in Christchurch and the man was charged with 69 offences pertaining to sexual abuse against "very young children", the possession of objectionable material and firearms offences.
He was found to be using a pseudonym and allegedly had a false birth certificate and driver's licence.
Waikato police crime manger Detective Inspector Chris Page said the pair were facing more than 70 charges.
"Our case arose from an investigation by Italian authorities last year into the use of the internet for obtaining and distributing material related to child exploitation."
He said as a result of the inquiries the Italians provided a number of images, including one that appeared to be of a New Zealand child with a man.
A multi-agency inquiry led to a Cambridge detective recognising a Te Awamutu man in the photo and the case was referred to Te Awamutu CIB.
The woman was charged with one count of making an objectionable publication, but police could not elaborate on what the publication was.
The man appeared in the Hamilton District Court via audio visual link today and the woman appeared in court in Christchurch late last month.
The multi-agency inquiry is ongoing.