A PEDOPHILE ring is likely operating inside Customs, a Senate inquiry has been told.

The claim was made by former Customs officer Richard Smolenski at the inquiry in Canberra today.

“My view is that a pedophile group is operating still in the Customs service,” he said.

The inquiry is investigating the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

Mr Smolenski says child porn was found in staff lockers during the 1990s but no-one was ever prosecuted.

He called for laws to be changed so they would “cover the Australian Customs service from the highest office to the lowest-ranking officer and everyone in between.”

Inquiry chairwoman Melissa Parke immediately alerted Customs chief Michael Carmody, who attended the hearing, to the claim.

“Serious allegations have been made this morning in relation to allegations of corrupt activity within the Customs Service going back a number of years,” Senator Parke said.

“We will be sending you a copy of the transcript from this morning and we’ll also be sending a copy of that to the Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police.”