A junior school teacher has been arrested on suspicion for pimping out his 10-year-old niece to a foreign child abuser.
Joel Ragodos was caught in the act of taking 30,000 pesos from a man posing as a foreign paedophile to spend one week with the girl.
Police reported that after taking the girl into protective custody, they found lubricant and a sex toy in her backpack.
The sting operation was conducted by the Anti Trafficking in Persons Division (ATIPD) of the PNP Women and Children’s Protection Center (PNP-WCPC).
Senior Superintendent Villamor Tuliao, chief of the ATIPD, said: “This case was referred to us by the Australian Federal Police sometime in July, because of the arrest of a French national abusing a Filipina girl.”
It is believed the Australian authorities were able to track down Ragodos by following the Frenchman’s activities on the so-called Dark Web.
Superintendent Sheila Portento, officer in charge of PNP-WCPC operations said it was the first time the information gathered in the highly secure underbelly of the internet had led to an arrest in the Philippines.
She said: “The internet landscape we are familiar with is just the tip of the iceberg. Below this is the dark net where it’s highly secured, and includes things such as medical records, financial statements and bank records.
“So, of course, security conscious criminals take advantage of this.”
According to a report on ABS-CBN, Ragodos denied the allegation that he was pimping his niece to child abusers. “It’s her birthday so I was taking her to the mall,” he said. “Then the foreigner entrapped me.”
Ragodos will be charged with violation of Anti Trafficking Act of 9208 and RA 7610 or Anti Child Abuse Law.
The girl is now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.