Another arrest in Cairns child grooming investigation

Richard Dinnen - Queensland Editor |

Queensland Police have charged a fifth man with child exploitation offences as part of a major investigation in the state’s far north.

The 37-year-old man was arrested by Child Protection and Investigation Unit (CPIU) detectives in Cairns and has been charged with 32 alleged offences.

Police said the charges include supplying dangerous drugs to a minor, wounding, and indecent treatment of children.

He appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Saturday and was remanded in custody for mention today.

Operation Uniform Kalahari was established in January to investigate the alleged grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people in the Cairns area.

Police allege young girls were groomed, indecently assaulted, and supplied with dangerous drugs including methylamphetamine and cannabis.

Five people have now been charged with a total 86 offences, including grooming, wounding, indecent treatment of a child under 16, and supplying drugs to a minor.

Cairns District CPIU Officer in Charge, Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Gooiker, said police and other support services will assist the young people involved and their families.

“We investigate all reports of offences against children, and acknowledge the courage required by a young person to come forward and make a complaint

“Thanks to the bravery of these children in speaking up, we have arrested and charged a number of offenders and put them before the courts, and our investigations are continuing.”