15 persons, mostly minors, rescued; 5 online sex traffickers nabbed in Surigao del Sur operations
At least 13 minors and two adult victims of exploitation and trafficking were rescued after five alleged online sex traffickers were arrested in Surigao del Sur last Thursday, according to Philippine National Police chief Archie Francisco Gamboa.
Gamboa said on Saturday that operatives from Caraga Region Police and representatives from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (RIACAT) launched an entrapment operations after Australian Federal Police, agents of the Women and Children Protection Center, and Anti-Cybercrime Group provided an information about an online sex den in two locations in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.
He said authorities believed the dens were used for online live sex shows featuring children were shown to foreign audience for a fee.
Gamboa said warrants to search, seize and examine Computer data (WSSECD) were also served on the raided residences resulting in the discovery of more incriminating evidence of child exploitation and trafficking.
Four suspects were arrested while offering child pornographic materials and live streaming sex show of children in exchange for money while the 24-year old suspect was arrested for possession of child pornographic materials as a result of onsite examination of a mobile phone in her possession pursuant to the WSSECD.
The PNP chief said some of the suspects were own parents of the rescued victims.
“I am warning the parents and guardians of minors who suffer abuse in their hands. We are tracking your illegal online sex operations. We know where you are, who you are dealing with and how you have profited from these deplorable acts. We will put you behind bars,” he said.
The victims are now under the care of the City Social Welfare and Development Office of Bislig City while the arrested suspects were brought to the Bislig Municipal Police Station for booking and investigation.
The suspects will face criminal charges for violation of RA 9208, RA 9775 in relation to RA 10175 and RA 7610; and violation of RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
Gamboa said the Philippine National Police and Australian Federal Police have a strong working partnership against child tracking and exploitation through the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Child Center. Ella Dionisio/DMS