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|06-23-09 08:46am - 1639 days||Abbywinters office raided.... (Austrailia HeraldSun) (30 Posts) - Original Post - #1|
Registered: Dec 18, '07
Abbywinters office raided.... (Austrailia HeraldSun)|
Original Link of News
POLICE raided a Melbourne porn business that makes up to $10 million a year from allegedly illegal activities.
Detectives raided five premises as part of Operation Refuge, seizing computers containing footage of women allegedly performing explicit sex acts, which are illegal to produce in Victoria.
They are also investigating allegations that some of the models on the porn company's website are under age.
Police raided the Fitzroy head office of G Media - which runs a porn website - in the early morning raids, and arrested its director, Garion Hall, at his Heidelberg home.
Two storage facilities and another office were part of the Fitzroy raids.
Computer records and explicit DVDs allegedly containing material too graphic to be legally made in Victoria were among items seized.
It is illegal to profit from making porn films in Victoria.
It is believed Mr Hall denies any wrongdoing.
Yesterday's raids came after the Herald Sun provided police with a dossier of information about the allegedly illegal porn G Media, and companies associated with it, have churned out in Melbourne since about 2000.
G Media is believed to receive about $30 a month from 30,000 subscribers to its website, which contains more than 370,000 explicit images and almost 4000 sex videos.
The company specialises in filming female teenage students and backpackers in Melbourne and has explicit photographs and videos of almost 1200 young women on its website, many listed as being aged 18 and 19.
Police have seen a copy of a driver's licence of one G Media nude model, allegedly showing she was 17 when photographed. It is not known if Mr Hall knew of her age.
Detectives from Yarra CIU questioned Mr Hall yesterday while the police e-crime squad began sifting through mountains of electronic material seized during the raids.
Mr Hall, 34, was released last night, but possibly faces charges of making objectionable films for gain, which carries a maximum jail term of two years.
Each of G Media's 30 employees could also be charged with the same offence.
Yarra CIU Sen-Det Steven Boskovski said police were likely to make more arrests.
"We're still identifying the hierarchy involved," he said. "We're very satisfied with the content we've secured."
The Herald Sun provided police with written information that allegedly reveals Mr Hall was warned by experts in 2007 that G Media's activities were likely to be in breach of state and federal laws.
One former G Media employee, Steen Vestergaard, has claimed in court documents that before he accepted a job he was assured the sex films he would be producing were legal.
Mr Vestergaard later sought his own legal advice and was told the films were too explicit to be legally made in Victoria and that he was liable to be prosecuted if he continued to produce them.
Former G Media model Liandra Dahl said the company used cash-in-hand payments to lure teenagers into performing prohibited sex acts on camera.
"It is utterly unethical to mislead very young people into choices that could affect their entire life," she said.
G Media uses posters stuck on traffic lights and poles near popular pubs and nightclubs to entice budding nude models to contact them.
A G Media poster in Chapel St, Prahran, offers females up to $800 cash on the day of the shoot and provides contact details for more information.
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