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Police vow to find all offenders in NZ-linked child abuse plot

Published: 8:37AM Sunday July 27, 2014 Source: Sunday

Police are vowing to track down every offender in an international child abuse conspiracy with strong links to New Zealand.

So far, seven men have been jailed for sexually abusing a boy, known as Adam, who was purchased as a baby in Russia by two men, gay partners, for US$8,000.

The investigation was triggered in Wellington by an Internal Affairs investigator, Jon Peacock, but quickly became a global inquiry with investigators working in three countries.

Mr Peacock found seemingly innocent photos and video of Adam on the computer of a man who'd been caught with images of men sexually abusing children.

Craig Broadley was charged with making and having objectionable material and sentenced to seven and a half months home detention.

''As I progressed through the investigation I started to see images of (the boy) we came to know as Adam that were certainly not illegal. They were just not appropriate images,'' Mr Peacock said.

Among the hundreds of images, were photos taken on hills above the Wellington airport.

The images were sent to Queensland Police Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, part of Task Force Argos, a unit investigating online exploitation of children.

"To any trained eye in the field of child exploitation, they're not the kind of photographs that a mum or dad would take,'' according to Detective Inspector Rouse.

''On the face of it they look like modelling kind of photographs. But behind that series was the horrendous sexual abuse of a child, in many cases by their parent.''

In Wellington, Mr Peacock uncovered more disturbing information - chat logs discussing how Adam's parents, Peter Truong and Mark Newton, were taking him around the world to be sexually exploited by men.

He continued to feed the information to Detective Inspector Rouse in Queensland.

"We commenced very urgent investigations and gave it the attention that it deserved, and continue to give it the attention that it deserves,'' Detective Inspector said.

The police investigation extended to the United States, where Newton and Truong were arrested and Adam taken into care.

But the investigations continue, and Mr Rouse says there's still a focus on New Zealand.

''We made a commitment that we would continue to pursue and identify every single individual in that network that had committed any crime against Adam. And we have not finished in that pursuit and it's my expectation that within the next 6 months, we will be taking further action.''

Sunday charts the extraordinary investigation that unravelled the conspiracy and helped save Adam on TV One tonight.

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