US tip leads to cybersex raids
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Instead of protecting her child, a woman in Cordova town, Cebu, made her 13-year-old daughter pose naked and perform lewd acts in front of a computer camera in a cybersex operation that was busted on Sunday.
The National Bureau of Investigation arrested a couple in their house in Sitio Sung-ok, Barangay Ibabaw, Cordova, during a raid around 1 a.m. on Sunday.
The raid was carried out by virtue of a search warrant issued by Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras, with the help of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency under the US Department of Homeland Security, and the International Justice Mission.
The suspects’ house is in the same sitio where a couple were arrested in 2011 for exposing five of their children and a niece to cybersex operations.
During the raid, the NBI seized a computer, a laptop, web camera, CPU and cell phones.
The NBI rescued the couple’s daughter, a third year high school scholar, and two children, a girl aged 14 and a 17-year-old boy.
The two girls were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development but the boy escaped.
The suspects admitted using their child and other children for cyberpornography. The woman said she usually charges P1,000 per transaction from American clients.
Her attempt to charge higher—P3,200—an American who turned out to be a decoy of the NBI gave her away.
The 35-year-old woman said poverty drove her to use her children in pornography. She said she and her husband are jobless.
The woman’s husband, who used to work as a fisherman before sickness incapacitated him, said he has repeatedly warned his wife to stop the illegal activity. He said he is willing to testify in court against his wife.
Antonio Pagatpat, regional NBI director, said authorities consider the female suspect as “queen” of cyberpornography in Cordova.
The couple were charged with violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and several other laws against child abuse.
If convicted, the couple face life in prison and fines of up to P5 million.
Pagatpat said NBI agents will continue conducting raids on cybersex operations in Cordova.
He said US authorities traced lewd photos and a footage of minors in the United States to the female suspect, prompting American law enforcers to seek help from the NBI.
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