The Australian Federal Police have charged three more people as part of a long-running investigation into a group allegedly assisting the parental abduction of children across Australia.
Operation Noetic investigators served notices on a 68-year-old Newcastle woman, 75 year-old Taree woman and a 46-year-old Townsville woman. Search warrants were also conducted on four premises in NSW, QLD and Victoria.
Police will allege in court the three women were a principal part of the group’s activities, with active roles in supporting the abduction of three children in contravention of two family law orders. All three children were safely located by the AFP earlier this year.
Police will allege these people provided assistance to the group’s organisers in providing transport, accommodation and other support to allow two women to evade law enforcement detection.
All three women will be charged with conspiracy to defeat justice, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
The women from Taree and Newcastle are scheduled to appear before the Brisbane Magistrates Court on December 7.
The 46-year-old Townsville woman is scheduled to appear before the Townsville Magistrates Court on December 20.
This is the second phase of police action following the arrest of three people on Wednesday, October 17.
Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, National Manager Crime Operations, said this week’s action highlighted the risk people face if they choose to take the law into their own hands.
“The actions of these people in deliberately ignoring court orders and helping hide children from their extended families, the Courts and law enforcement cannot be justified," she said.
“This activity has the potential to significantly endanger the safety and well-being of children.
“Parental child abduction can have harmful physical and emotional effects on the children abducted. They can suffer the loss of contact with their family and friends, miss their educational stability and are often hidden away from people around them. They are removed from almost everything familiar to them including their toys, daily routine, and sometimes even their name.”
Any person with further information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.