Singaporean student who imported child sex doll in Australia gets jail

A Singaporean student living in Australia who imported a child sex doll and possessed child abuse material has been sentenced to 11 months in jail.

However, the 27-year-old, who was not identified, was immediately released on a two-year good behaviour bond.

The Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police said in a joint statement last Saturday that the judge had also ordered that the man be placed on the sex offenders register.

In 2019, the Singaporean was arrested after border officials intercepted a parcel from China containing the doll at a Perth air cargo depot on Christmas Eve.

The doll had been ordered online and was addressed to the man's residence in the Perth suburb of Beckenham.

Around two weeks later, border investigators arrested the Singaporean following a search warrant for the address on the package.

Warrant investigators seized a mobile phone, computer tower, laptop and hard drive belonging to him.

These devices were handed to the Australian Federal Police, which identified child abuse material in the tower, laptop and hard drive through a forensic digital investigation.

In Australia, those who import child sex dolls can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined A$555,000 (S$580,000).

The Singaporean subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of importing prohibited goods - which includes sex dolls that resemble children aged below 18 - and one count of possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using electronic means.

While the 27-year-old will not be jailed, his immigration status - he is on a student visa - is now under review, the statement said.

"The Australian government takes seriously its responsibility to protect the Australian community from risk or harm posed by non-citizens who engage in criminal conduct or behaviour of concern... Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa will be liable for detention and removal from Australia, pending resolution of any ongoing matters," it added.

In Singapore, it has been a crime to own, produce or sell child sex dolls - resembling children aged below 16 - since Jan 1 last year. Those found doing so face a maximum penalty of imprisonment for two years and a fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'Singaporean student who imported child sex doll in Australia gets jail'. Subscribe