Police nab 7 in Pangasinan for online prostitution

Bea Cupin
Police rounded up 94 women reportedly working as English online 'tutors' for Japanese clients

MANILA, Philippines – Police nabbed 7 individuals in Lingayen, Pangasinan, for alleged violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act following a raid on a supposed English tutorial center.

At around 7 pm on Monday, March 17, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) implemented the search warrant issued by a Pangasinan court.

Arrested during the operation were Takayuki Umeda, Erlinda Tandoc, Leonora Ceralde, Josephine Gille, and Rafael Tandoc, according to police reports. Two other Japanese nationals were nabbed but had yet to be identified as of posting.

Umeda’s team would reportedly set up women with Japanese nationals for sexual services in the guise of online English tutorials.

Japanese customers would choose a “teacher” from a lineup of women, who would become the English “tutor” of the client. Meet-ups in the Philippines would eventually be facilitated by Umeda’s group.

The group was arrested in Erlinda Tandoc’s residence in Avenida St., Rizal West, Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Around 94 female online “teachers” were arrested during the operation, but eventually released after documentation, according to initial police reports.

Police were also able to recover over P700,000 in cash and a caliber 22 magnum from Tandoc’s home. At least 99 sets of computers, 6 laptops and a vault were also recovered.

According to a news report from the Saipan Tribune, Umeda was charged for allegedly employing illegal aliens and the exploitation of a minor in his club, Club Micronesia. The report said Umeda allegedly brought an underaged girl from Manila to Saipan using “forged documents.” He was later acquitted by a Saipan court.

The 7 will be handed over to the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame on Tuesday, March 18. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.