Three men have been arrested over an alleged plot to help women abduct their children and then hide them from authorities against family court orders.
Australian Federal Police investigators raided properties across Australia, including Dubbo and Grafton in NSW, Townsville in Queensland, and various locations in Perth, reports ABC news.
Police said during their two-year investigation, 10 children had been safely returned after being abducted.
Five of them are linked to this particular group, police say.
Police allege a 64-year-old man, arrested in Grafton yesterday, acted as the key financier of the scheme, which aimed to help two women abduct and hide their children, in contravention of family law orders.
A 63-year old man, also arrested in Grafton, allegedly acted as the co-coordinator.
Police claim he sent money to the women and then used social media to portray the children’s fathers as child abusers.
Both men will appear in Grafton Local Court today.
An 83-year old man has also been arrested in Townsville and charged over his alleged involvement. A prosecution notice has also been served on a 78-year old Perth woman over her alleged involvement in the plot.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz condemned the alleged actions of the group.
“We believe this group has sought assistance from other people — some who may be unaware of their involvement … so we are urging anyone with any knowledge about these activities to come forward to the AFP,” she said.
More details to come…
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