Illegal childlike sex doll imports on the rise

NEW Zealand Customs said "a handful" of the illegal dolls with silicone children's faces and real human hair had been intercepted at the border in the past 12 months.

The illegal dolls have seen a surge in popularity.
The illegal dolls have seen a surge in popularity. Supplied

The disturbing dolls have been spotted in online e-commerce supermarkets like AliExpress and can be made to order from as little as $500, the NZ Herald reports.

Buyers can choose everything from the colour of the doll's hair and eyes to the type of clothes it wears.

Customs investigations manager Bruce Berry said the office was aware of the growing, global trend and were monitoring it closely.

"We're seeing some of these start to appear on the border. And really that's to my mind, the effect of globalisation and the shrinking of the virtual borders that we have."

The ultra-realistic dolls are deemed obscene, he said, and their import is prohibited in both Australia and New Zealand.

In August 2016, a Sydney man who was arrested after he was found in possession of a child sex doll challenged the court over whether the dolls were illegal.

He was later sentenced to two years imprisonment.

"There's no defence to say you didn't know that these were illegal at the time of importation," Berry said.

"But Customs uses its discretion as to where we go with following up these interceptions."

So far no one had been arrested or charged in New Zealand for importing child sex dolls, which are destroyed by Customs.

- With New Zealand Herald