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Asia-Pacific

MEDIA RELEASE: Cybersex trafficker arrested during COVID-19 lockdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday 9 April 2020

LAPU-LAPU CITY, THE PHILIPPINES – There is no let-up in law enforcement against the cybersex trafficking of children despite lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On the night of Monday 6 April, operatives from the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center – Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) arrested a 25-year-old female trafficker who livestreamed the sexual abuse of her underage female cousin for a paying child sex offender abroad and also sold child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) to him. The victim was repeatedly abused from 2016 to 2018, from the age of 11 to 13.

WCPC-VFU personnel, led by Officer-in-Charge Police Lieutenant Colonel Mary Grace Madayag, together with members of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), served an arrest warrant to Jade (real name withheld to protect the victim’s identity) at 8:30 p.m. in Barangay Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City.

Two hours earlier, in a different part of Lapu-Lapu City, WCPC-VFU and LCPO personnel also arrested Jade’s male live-in partner for offences involving the same victim. Considered children at risk, the couple’s three children, all under seven years old, were brought to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for assessment.

The case stemmed from a referral that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forwarded to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) in March 2019. The FBI was then investigating Alan Dennis Wolff, a U.S.-based child sex offender, who paid and directed Jade to abuse her underage female cousin in order to produce new CSEM to send him online. In exchange for payments from Wolff, Jade also livestreamed the sexual abuse of her female cousin to him.

WCPC-VFU personnel rescued the victim, now 14 years old, on 31 July 2019. Since then, she has been receiving aftercare services from DSWD.

In December 2019, Wolff pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children before a court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His sentencing is set to be handed down this month.

A model for an enhanced global response against cybersex trafficking of children, PICACC is a cooperation among local and international law enforcement, namely the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC), the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human-Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA); in partnership with non-government organisation International Justice Mission (IJM).

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Note:

The Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the Luxembourg Guidelines, prescribes the use of the term “child sexual abuse material” or “child sexual exploitation material” instead of “child pornography”, except when referencing the name of statute. Sexualised material that depicts or otherwise represents children is a representation, and a form, of child sexual abuse and should not be described as “pornography.”


MEDIA ENQUIRIES

For media enquiries, contact:
Bianca Bryson
bbryson@ijm.org.au
0478 219 171

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors and strengthen justice systems.

Learn more about cybersex trafficking of children here.

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