6 minors rescued from Butuan cybersex den, suspect arrested
BUTUAN CITY – Six minors were rescued from a suspected cybersex den in this city by joint operatives from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Office in Caraga and the Butuan City Police Office (BCPO), authorities said Friday.
The BCPO said the operation, which was carried out around 4:20 p.m. Thursday, targeted a house in Purok 6 Silad in Barangay Mahogany.
According to Senior Superintendent Villamor Tuliao of the DIDM-Women and Children Protection Center based in Camp Crame, one suspect was also arrested in the rescue operation.
Tuliao said the arrested suspect, Joanne Lantajo, is now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003), RA 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse Law), and RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009).
Police said the rescued minors were three girls and three boys.
Authorities said the rescued minors, who are between 3 and 14 years old, were made to perform sexual acts infront of a video camera.
Butuan City police director Senior Superintendent Albert Magno said they have stumbled on Lantajo’s cybersex operation following the 2015 arrest of an unidentified British national in London.
Police said the British national’s laptop yielded photos and videos of nude children which were later traced back to Lantajo.
“The National Crime Agency (NCA) of United Kingdom coordinated with our PNP, conducted a case build-up and so this is one of the result of that investigation,” Magno said.
He said the operation was witnessed by representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Caraga, the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking and the Washington-based anti-trafficking group, International Justice Mission (IJM).
“Right now, the children who were rescued are still being interviewed and debriefed by our social workers. They are now in the custody of the DSWD (Caraga). We will be assisting in the filling of the case against the suspect,” said Eunice Montaos Plaza, the DSWD Caraga information officer. /muf
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