8 Nigerians held for arranging for paid sex with 6 minors in Malate hotel
Eight Nigerians who allegedly tried to seek the sexual services of six underage girls were arrested at a Malate hotel by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Wednesday night.
CIDG Director Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr. said the agents rescued the six minors, including the 14-year-old daughter of a woman who had sent an e-mail to the CIDG’s antichild abuse website “Project Angel Net” pleading for her child’s rescue.
Antihuman trafficking agents found the suspects “negotiating” for the girls’ services with the pimp, a certain Emma Cruz, who was able to escape.
Arrested were Lucky Nelson, 24; Dumalo Gbue, 25; Yerebbari Neemana, 29; Owki Baknanawe, 29; Sundah Korobriowei Mathew, 29; Gabriel Tekena, 28; Worlo Enyi, 25; and Mark Jack, 24, all students residing at Manila Manor Hotel on Bocobo Street.
Pagdilao said the mother had sent an e-mail to Project Angel Net to ask authorities to rescue her daughter and five other minors who, she said, were being sold to the suspects for sexual services.
The woman recognized one of the victims being “paired” with one of the suspects as her daughter, prompting the CIDG operatives to arrest the suspects.
Charges of violation of violence against women and children and antihuman trafficking laws were being prepared against the suspects, the CIDG said.
The arrest came on the heels of a statement from US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. Thursday that 40 percent of foreign male tourists come to the country looking for sex.
While the Philippines is a “model” for other countries in combating human trafficking, a lot still remains to be done with up to “40 percent” of foreign male tourists coming into the country primarily for sexual tourism, US Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas Jr. said.
Thomas said that while the Philippine government secured a “record number of 25 convictions” against human traffickers this year, many problems remain, including prostitution joints along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
“We are not prudes but we should not let this happen because these girls, these boys, are Filipino citizens,” Thomas told a judicial conference on human trafficking.
“We know that about 40 percent of the foreign men who come to the Philippines, including from the United States, come for sexual tourism. That is not something that I am proud of, and that is not something that you should be proud of,” he said.
Thomas said the US Federal Bureau of Investigation was helping the National Bureau of Investigation go after syndicates behind cybersex dens.
“We’ve assisted in rescuing girls and I hope some of you have met some of these girls and look into their eyes. It is death. It is death. It is death,” he said.
Thomas said that he told President Aquino and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that should an American be arrested for human trafficking, the US Embassy would even assist in going after them.
“We are very serious that we have told Secretary de Lima and President Aquino that if any American is involved, we want them prosecuted. We will assist in any way possible,” he said.
As of April 2011, there were still 300 pending cases on human trafficking, 99 others have been decided on or have been dismissed while 84 have been archived. The Supreme Court has given judges six months to decide these cases, Quezon City Judge Maria Filomena Singh told the conference.
Of 228 cases reported to the Department of Justice last year, 206 were filed in court but only eight were convicted in five cases for sex trafficking, including two who are still at large, Singh said.
In 2011, there were 25 convictions including two for labor trafficking. Singh said the first labor trafficking conviction happened in February involving the sale of two women as domestic helpers in Malaysia.
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