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13 rescued from Butuan 'cybersex den'

May 24, 2020 - Sunday 6:05 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image CYBERCRIME SUSPECTS. A 28-year-old woman and his live-in partner are arrested on Thursday (May 21, 2020) for allegedly maintaining a cybersex den in Purok 5, Ambago, Butuan City. Authorities rescued 13 victims, mostly minors, during the operation. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13 Information Office)

BUTUAN CITY – Authorities rescued 13 victims, mostly minors, during an entrapment operation and court-ordered search of a suspected cybersex den in Purok 5, Barangay Ambago here on Thursday afternoon.

Major Renel Serrano, chief of the Public Information Office of Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 (Caraga), told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday that a 28-year-old female suspect was arrested during the raid.

The suspect’s live-in partner was also taken into custody for conspiracy, Serrano said.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, PRO-13 chief, Brigadier General Joselito T. Esquivel Jr., said of the 13 victims rescued, four are aged 1 year to 3 years, who are considered children at-risk, while the rest are aged 11 years to 19 years.

“The victims are forced to engage in sexual acts in exchange for monetary payment in the amount of P2,000, P5,000, up to the maximum of P20,000, depending on the kind of show requested by the online clients from the Philippines and abroad,” Esquivel said.

He said police personnel of the Women and Children Protection Center-Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU), Regional Anti-Cybercrime Units of Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, Regional Intelligence Division 13, Regional Women and Children Protection Desk 13, and Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) took part in the entrapment operation.

The operation was armed with a warrant to search, seize, examine computer data (WSSECD) and rescue operation on online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) issued by a regional court here on May 20 for child pornography through a computer system, under Republic Act (RA) 10175, also known as “The Cyber-Crime Prevention Act of 2012”.

“Personnel from WCPC-MFU revealed that they started conducting surveillance and case build-up against the suspect since December of 2019 through the conduct of constant cyberspace patrolling,” Esquivel said.

He said among the pieces of evidence seized during the raid were cellphones, assorted identification cards, remittance cards, receipts from known money couriers, lubricants, tablets, and an Internet router.

Authorities also recovered from the suspects four improvised long firearms, one replica of a caliber .45 pistol, one caliber .38 revolver with six live ammunition, and bladed weapons believed to be owned by the live-in partner of the prime suspect.
He said charges are being prepared against the arrested suspects for violation of RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

The suspects will also face charges for violation of the provisions of the RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, Esquivel said. PNA