Sydney: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) hierarchy knew that an Internet sex ring was operating within its ranks almost three years ago but did not involve police until the middle of last year.
An Army spokeswoman confirmed it first became aware of the unfolding scandal in September 2010.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the latest revelation exposes a period of 21 months during which Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) conducted an internal investigation before approaching NSW Police for help.
The Department of Defence said ADFIS conducted an investigation between late 2010 to mid 2011, and involved police three months after the launch of the investigation, the report said. The statement revealed the investigation was first referred to Victoria Police, and the Australian Federal Police were also initially involved.
According to the report, two years after a cadet was publicly exposed broadcasting himself having sex with a female counterpart on Skype, the ADF has once again been rocked by sex abuse allegations.
This time at least 17 male officers, including a lieutenant-colonel, the sixth highest rank in the army, were exposed being part of the sex abuse.