CEBU

Sex trafficker in Lapu-Lapu arrested

LAPU-LAPU CITY -- There is no let-up in law enforcement against the online sexual exploitation of children (Osec) despite lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday night, April 6, operatives from the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center-Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) arrested a 25-year-old female trafficker who streamed live the sexual abuse of her underage female cousin for a paying child sex offender abroad and also sold child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) to him.

The victim was repeatedly abused from 2016 to 2018, from the age of 11 to 13.

WCPC-VFU personnel, led by Officer-in-Charge Police Lieutenant Colonel Mary Grace Madayag, together with members of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), served an arrest warrant issued on February 26, 2020 by Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court Branch 70 Judge Christine Muga-Abad.

The arrest took place on Monday at 8:30 p.m. in Barangay Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City.

Jade (real name withheld to protect the victim’s identity) was issued an arrest warrant for violation of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364), Anti-Child Abuse Law (RA 7610), and Anti-Child Pornography Act (RA 9775) in relation to Cybercrime Prevention Act (RA 10175).

Two hours earlier, WCPC-VFU and LCPO personnel also arrested Jade’s male live-in partner, in a different barangay in Lapu-Lapu City. Judge Muga-Abad also issued an arrest warrant against him for violation of Anti-Child Abuse Law, involving the same victim.

Considered children at risk, the couple’s three children, all under seven years old, were brought to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Visayas for assessment.

The case stemmed from a referral that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forwarded to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (Picacc) in March 2019. The FBI was then investigating Alan Dennis Wolff, a US-based child sex offender, who paid and directed Jade to abuse her underage female cousin in order to produce new CSEM to send him online. In exchange for payments from Wolff, Jade also streamed live the sexual abuse of her female cousin to him.

WCPC-VFU personnel rescued the victim, now 14 years old, on July 31, 2019. Since then, she has been receiving aftercare services from DSWD-Central Visayas.

In December 2019, Wolff pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children before a court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His sentencing is set to be handed down this month.

A model for an enhanced global response against Osec, Picacc is a cooperation among local and international law enforcement, namely, the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC), the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human-Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA), in partnership with non-government organization, International Justice Mission (IJM).

One may report a suspected case of Osec by texting ENDOSEC (space) (incident details) to 7444-64 for Smart network subscribers; or directly connect with WCPC at (032) 410-8483 for Visayas, and 0917-180-6037 or 0928-604-6425 for Mindanao. (PR)


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