Source AP ©

British man charged with importing child pornography into Australia

A 46-year-old British marine engineer appeared in court Thursday after flying into the west coast city of Perth with a laptop computer allegedly containing child pornography.

Martin Easton, of Plymouth, England, did not enter a plea when he appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court charged with importing prohibited goods. He was ordered held in custody until he appears in court next on Aug. 31.

Easton was arrested on arrival at Perth airport late Wednesday after customs officials searched his luggage and computer, the Australian Customs Service said in a statement.

"Australia has strict laws relating to the importation of material depicting children engaged in sexual acts," customs investigator Richard Janeczko said in a statement.

"Travelers and visitors to Australia need to be aware of these restrictions before they undertake their journey."

A customs official declined to say whether officers were acting on a tip off, but said customs searches of laptop computer files "are not unusual."

Easton faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a fine of 275,000 Australian dollars (US$235,000; EUR172,000).