Authorities Seize Another Childlike Sex Doll As Disturbing Trend Rises

A 23-year-old Australian man was arrested in relation to the crime.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
childlike sex doll
Pictured: a doll obtained from a previous seizure at a man's home in Queensland, Australia, in April 2021. The number of childlike sex dolls seized by Australian border officials increased by more than 60 percent between 2020 and 2021. Photo by Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

A 23-year-old man has been arrested over the importation of a childlike sex doll into Australia – a trend that authorities say has seen an uptick in recent years.

The arrest took place six weeks after border officials intercepted a package declared as a clothes mannequin, which upon closer inspection contained a sex doll designed to look like a young child. The find was referred to investigators from the Australian Border Force (ABF), who executed a search warrant at a home in south-west Sydney on Wednesday and arrested a man on charges of importing “tier 2 goods.” 


Childlike sex dolls are considered child abuse materials in Australia, meaning it is illegal to possess or import them. Perpetrators can face up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to $525,000.

Following the man’s arrest, ABF Commander Justin Bathurst stressed that border officials were committed to detecting the illicit dolls at the border and prosecuting those who attempted to bring them into the country.

“These dolls sexualise children, they are not harmless and do not prevent people from offending in the future,” Bathurst said. “[They] are anatomically correct, life-size imitations of children and are designed for sexual pleasure … Often the consignments include with the childlike sex doll instructions on how to utilise the item and accessories such as clothing, often children’s size, and blankets with cartoon characters or patterns of interest to children.”

Investigators also located and seized a number of mobile electronic devices at the man’s address, which will undergo further digital forensic examination.

The ABF said in a statement that it seized a total of 226 childlike sex dolls and/or parts in the 2020-2021 financial year – up from 138 seized during the 2019-2020 financial year. The majority of the consignments were sent to Australia from locations such as mainland China, Japan and Hong Kong, the ABF said. The dolls were being shipped to postal addresses across Australia.


It is not clear whether the increase in seizures of childlike sex dolls is in any way related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has over the past 18 months fuelled a rise in e-commerce, a huge spike in adult sex doll sales and a disturbing surge in child sex abuse material around the world. A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police told VICE World News last September that the amount of child abuse material being shared on the dark web appeared to be increasing, and that some sites hosting online child sex abuse material had crashed due to the overwhelming amount of internet traffic.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in the 2018-2019 financial year, before COVID, the ABF seized just 30 childlike sex dolls.

Last year, Chinese e-commerce marketplace Alibaba shut down an offshore vendor selling childlike sex dolls into Australia, following complaints from Australian anti-sexploitation group Collective Shout. Media spokeswoman Melinda Liszewski said she and her team had discovered some dolls on the site “as small as 65cm, the size of a six-month-old baby.”

It was the first time the ABF worked with an e-commerce site to shut down a vendor selling childlike sex dolls.

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