Swedish ‘cyberporn operator’ falls

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Sunday, March 23, 2014


CEBU CITY -- Authorities rescued two girls and arrested a Swedish national inside an apartment in Talisay City, Cebu at dawn Sunday in a suspected case of human trafficking.

Operatives of the PNP’s Anti Cybercrime Group (ACG) Visayas Field Unit and Talisay City Police Station caught Christer Johansson, 60, on Canezares St., Barangay Dumlog at 12:45 a.m.

The two girls, age 14 and 15, are residents of Barangay Tabunok, Talisay City and Barangay Lorega San Miguel, Cebu City.

Senior Inspector Michael Virtudazo of ACG said the suspect would allegedly ask children to do lewd acts on camera.

The suspect denied the allegation. He said he was eating with the two minors inside his house when the police barged in. He said he was arrested without being told of the charges against him. He said he will consult his lawyer.

The operation was conducted using a search warrant issued last March 21 by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 8 Presiding Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul.

“There is a probable cause to believe that Johansson is harboring minor girls for purposes of prostitution, sexual exploitation and child trafficking,” the warrant states.

Cybersex in Cebu

CYBERPORN. Christer Johansson lands in jail on suspicion that he is running a cyberporn business in his apartment, with street children as his victims. (Sun.Star photo/Justin K. Vestil)

Gadgets

Seized from Johansson’s possession were two laptops, two external hard drives, USB flash drive, USB camera, memory card, Samsung mobile phone and boxes of Chinese medicines believed to be sex enhancers.

These will be sent back to court and the ACG will ask permission to examine these.

Virtudazo, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said they have been monitoring Johansson for a month after receiving a tip from Talisay City Police Station about his activity.

The operatives went to Johansson’s two-story apartment, but the suspect refused to open the door.

Virtudazo said they saw the girls run upstairs and went inside a room. The suspect eventually gave in.

Johansson, believed to be under the influence of liquor, didn’t resist when he was arrested. The operatives found that the alleged cybersex operation is conducted in the living room.

The operation was also conducted through the help of Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) 7, led by regional state prosecutor Fernando Gubalane and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Visayas.

Virtudazo said the suspect allegedly uses street children in his operation.

“Ang uban rugby girls lagi daw (Some of the victims are reportedly rugby girls),” he said. He suspects the foreigner has a local accomplice who recruits the victims.

Virtudazo said Johansson refused to issue statements.

The victims are now in the custody of DSWD 7.

Edna Regudo, of the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) of DSWD 7, said they will only interview the girls today as they are letting them rest Sunday.

Medical tests

“They will undergo medical examinations and will be asked why they were there,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Johansson’s neighbors were surprised to find out they were living near a suspected cyberporn operator.

Shirley Wahingon, a neighbor, said they rarely see Johansson come out of his house. And when they saw him, he was often with three or four girls.

“Many kids hang out in his apartment. Most of them have dirty feet,” she said.

Wahingon said the girls sometimes cause trouble in the compound. One of the children reportedly stole one of her neighbor’s bikes, she said.

Barangay Dumlog Councilor Gilbert Canizares said the barangay officials will strengthen their monitoring of foreigners in their area.

Talisay City Police chief Supt. Resty Santos said they conducted surveillance on Johansson for almost a month.

Santos said they found out about Johansson’s operations after some of the neighbors complained of seeing him with minors in his house. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 24, 2014.

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