Online ‘sextortionist’ eyes teen, falls into QCPD trap
A 22-year-old bank employee who allegedly led another life online as a sexual predator became prey himself in a police operation, after a teenage girl claimed that he tried to blackmail her into having sex.
Lauro Andaya Jr. was arrested by the Quezon City police at a hotel Wednesday night on a complaint from a minor, who was first contacted by the suspect through the social networking site Facebook.
According to the Quezon City Police District’s Special Operations Unit (QCPD-SOU), it all started when Andaya told her through online chat, and later via text messages, that he had obtained nude photos of her. He then offered to have them “deleted” in exchange for sex and P5,000.
The 17-year-old girl, whose parents are abroad, sought the help of a friend whose parents then reported the “sextortion” attempt to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Chief Insp. Melchor Cantil, head of QCPD-SOU, said complainant admitted sending such photos to a “woman” she met online who claimed to be scouting for commercial models. “Most likely, that ‘woman’ was also Andaya,” Cantil said in a phone interview.
In an entrapment operation set by the QCPD, Andaya was arrested at a hotel on General Roxas Avenue in Cubao after receiving marked money from the girl.
When questioned, Andaya, a resident of Novaliches, claimed that he merely downloaded the girl’s photos from another source.
But the QCPD said this would not reduce his culpability for robbery-extortion, child abuse and attempted rape. The criminal complaints were filed against Andaya in the city prosecutor’s office on Thursday.
Cantil reminded netizens to be careful when encountering strangers online. “Cyberscams are rampant these days and they usually go after impressionable youths,” he said, adding that the Philippine National Police already has an anticybercrime unit focusing on such cases.
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