A German has been arrested in Lapu-Lapu City on suspicion of sexually abusing children — including his own two-year-old son — and sharing the footage online.
Agents from the police’s Women and Children Protection Center searched the 41-year-old’s home in Barangay Basak at noon yesterday (Wednesday, July 10).
They found footage of child sex abuse, including of his son, stored on a number of electronic devices. The child is now in protective custody.
The alleged online trafficker’s arrest came two weeks after police rescued two Filipino children, aged six and seven, who were also suspected victims of the German.
The suspect has not been named by police in order to protect the identity of his son.
Australia’s Queensland Police Service first discovered in 2017 that the German had been producing and sharing sexually explicit images of Filipino children.
They then coordinated with German and Philippine law enforcement agencies. The operation was also supported by the International Justice Mission.
Police Colonel Romeo Perigo, who led the operation, said: “Today’s arrest of a German national shows the global nature of the crime of online sexual exploitation of children.
“We are fully committed to arresting not only the local online traffickers, but also foreigners residing in the Philippines who are exploiting our children online.
“May today’s arrest serve as a warning not only for foreign perpetrators living in our country, but for all online predators around the world. This crime does not pay. You will be arrested. It’s just a matter of time.”
The suspect is now facing charges under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or Republic Act 9208 (as amended by RA 10364), which comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to five million pesos. He is also likely to face charges under RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012), RA 9775 (Anti‐Child Pornography Act of 2009) and RA 7610 (Child Abuse Law). Each of these violations carry up to 40 years prison.
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