Two Kiwi men face charges after being busted following two separate incidents.

A 44-year-old man appeared in the Nelson District Court on Monday, while a 26-year-old man, who lives overseas, was arrested in Auckland.

Customs Operation Manager Investigations Stephen Waugh said the two arrests should serve as a warning to offenders that Customs will act, regardless of whether the offending images are carried physically across the border or traded online across the virtual border.

Waugh said the arrest of the 44-year-old came about after a Customs investigation linked him to the online trading of child sexual abuse publications.

The man faces a number of charges relating to export and distribution offences under the Customs and Excise Act 2018 and the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.


The man also faces additional police charges relating to committing an indecent act and making an objectionable publication.

He said their investigation began after Customs received a tip-off from international sources about the man's involvement in sharing child sexual abuse images on a popular social media messaging app.

A search warrant was carried out at his home last week, where further evidence was found resulting in his arrest.

In the second and separate case, the 26-year-old was arrested in Auckland last week, after a forensic search of his mobile phone located images and video of children being sexually abused.

The man, who lives overseas, first came to Customs' attention in 2015, after an international referral for similar offending overseas. When he recently returned to New Zealand for a short holiday, Customs officers questioned and searched the man.

Waugh said every time child sexual abuse images or videos were downloaded, uploaded or shared online, it contributed to the further victimisation of the children.

"This is also true if the objectionable material is taken across the border, when travelling.

"There is an entire global network dedicated to combating the unacceptable crime of child exploitation. Here in New Zealand, Customs works closely with the NZ Police and Internal Affairs to safeguard and rescue victims, while holding the perpetrators to account."