CDN FILE PHOTO LONDON—British police are working with Australian and US counterparts in breaking up a Philippine pedophile ring that has been streaming live scenes of child abuse over the Internet, the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed on Thursday.
The NCA, which has been investigating the ring since it discovered obscene videos on a British pedophile’s computer two years ago, called abuse in developing countries “a significant and emerging threat.” “This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with,” said the agency’s Andy Baker.
Noemi Truye-Abarientos of the Children’s Legal Bureau, which provides legal aid to abuse victims, blamed poverty and a breakdown in public morality for the rise in the trade.
The abusers are grooming people, usually in developing countries like the Philippines, to procure children and paying to instruct sexual abuse which is broadcast over the internet using webcam.
It is a deliberate tactic to try to evade detection by authorities like the AFP, because it leaves little to no digital trail."Certainly we're seeing an alarming trend of Australians that are engaged in this activity," AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Saunders told 7.30."It's no different to you or I, if we were going on and communicating between each other on Face Time or Skype where you're on a conversation with another person and there's no record of the conversation you're having during that time."Despite that, the AFP is having some success targeting live-streaming abusers.7.30 has been told the inside story of an extraordinary international crime-fighting operation that nabbed multiple live-streaming abusers and rescued children from harm.
“This has become a major problem in the Philippines, where in some cases even the parents are involved,” he said.
Sosa declined to give details that could compromise ongoing operations.
Authorities, armed with a search warrant, seized two desktop computers and several sex toys that the suspects used in their online shows for foreign customers, mostly from Europe and Asia.
Police also recovered passports, mobile phones, bank passbooks, credit cards and wigs from the suspects, who are residents of Antipolo City in Rizal province and Metro Manila.
“Parents use Internet chat rooms to find ‘clients’ and receive payment through international money transfers.
They justify what they do by claiming that foreign pedophiles do not actually touch the children,” the BBC said.
The Australian Federal Police said it had executed six search warrants under the international operation that had led to the arrest of three Australians.