Tip from Australian police leads to arrest of online sex trafficker in Rizal
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine police arrested on Friday night, October 25, a woman in Taytay, Rizal, who had offered to livestream the sexual abuse of her own daughter to paying customers.
Authorities rescued the 12-year-old victim, and are preparing charges against the mother for violating the Philippines’ Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act, and the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The operation was prompted by a tip from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), which had investigated a 63-year-old man in New South Wales (NSW) who had uploaded child abuse material on social media.
The NSW Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team investigators searched the suspect’s house on September 18, and seized electronic devices that allegedly contained child abuse material from Rizal province in the Philippines.
The man has been charged with 4 kinds of offenses, each carrying a maximum prison term of 10 to 15 years under Australian laws.
The operation in Taytay, Rizal, was conducted jointly by the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center – Anti-Trafficking in Person
Division (WCPC-ATIPD) and the Rizal Police Provincial Office, according to a press release by the International Justice Mission on Tuesday, October 29.
The IJM is a global organization that protects the poor from violence. It partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. It regularly updates the media on online sex trafficking operations like what happened in Rizal.
“We have to stop this notion that the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children is a victimless crime. A lot of children have already been hurt by this false belief,” said WCPC’s Colonel Maria Sheila Portento, who led the operation.
Federal Agent Andrew Perkins, the Australian Federal Police’s senior officer in Manila, said, “This joint investigation demonstrates the close cross-border collaboration we share to protect children from online abuse.”
WCPC chief Police Brigadier General William Macavinta pointed out how crucial coordination between the two countries’ police was. “The mobile nature of the crime makes pinpointing OSEC very difficult. So it will take intense collaboration between our PNP-WCPC and their foreign counterparts to help bring criminals to justice from both the supply and demand side,” he said. – MGAG/Rappler.com