Australian nabbed in Cebu for abuse of kids

Agence France-Presse
A resident of Hong Kong, the Australian was caught sexually abusing 5 boys aged 9-13, who were also in pictures of videos on his cellphone

CEBU CITY, Philippines – An Australian resident of Hong Kong has been arrested for sexually abusing children in the Cebu, police said Tuesday, July 16.

The  man in his 40s was arrested last week while with 5 young boys, said Sr Insp Sheryl Bautista.

“We checked the cellphone we seized at the arrests. It turned out he had pictures and videos of the children,” said Bautista, head of the arresting team.

The Australian said he was a resident of Hong Kong, where he had a job training schoolteachers, but Bautista said they did not know if this was true.

The boys, aged 9 to 13, said the man was a frequent visitor, according to Bautista.

“He had picked up many of them, coming back and forth to the Philippines. Some of the minors said they had been with him many times,” she recounted.

A Filipino taxi driver who had assisted the Australian in picking up the children was also arrested, she added.

Police plan to charge the Australian with child abuse and trafficking in children. If found guilty, he could face life in prison, Bautista said.

The children were placed in the care of the social welfare department.

The government and aid groups estimate that tens of thousands of children end up as prostitutes in the Philippines due to poverty and poor implementation of laws. – 

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