5 arrested, 13 minors rescued in anti-trafficking ops

Information provided by the Australian Federal Police has led to the arrest of five persons engaged in child pornography and sex trafficking in Surigao del Sur, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, said on Saturday.


Gamboa said the authorities also rescued 13 minors and two adults when personnel of the Women and Children Protection Center and Anti-Cybercrime Group, Caraga Region Police, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (RIACAT) launched entrapment operations in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on two residences running an online live sex shows featuring children that are 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.


He said some of arrested suspects were the parents of the victims, prompting the police to withhold the suspect’s names to protect the minor 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,” Gamboa said in a statement.


Four suspects were arrested while offering child pornographic materials and live streaming sex show of children in exchange for money while another suspect, 24, 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 suspects will face criminal charges for violation of Republic Act (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.


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.


Gamboa said the PNP and Australian Federal Police have a strong working partnership against child trafficking and exploitation through the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Child Center.


Source: Philippines News Agency

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