Philippine school raided over child porn

2014-02-18 13:00
Suspects in an alleged internet porn operation cover their faces as they stay at the cybercrime division of the national bureau of investigation in Manila. (Aaron Favila, AP)

Suspects in an alleged internet porn operation cover their faces as they stay at the cybercrime division of the national bureau of investigation in Manila. (Aaron Favila, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Manila - Government agents raided an Internet child porn operation based in a Philippine school and arrested its president and eight other people, investigators said on Tuesday.

The suspects used a room at the Mountaintop Christian Academy to post online images and video of children and adults for foreign consumption, said Ronald Aguto, cybercrime investigation head in the national bureau of investigation.

Authorities were still investigating, but Aguto said it didn't appear that children at the school were being abused and that the operators were uploading pre-recorded images and stored video.

The school had 2 000 elementary and high school students, Aguto added. Its license was revoked in 2006 for unknown reasons but it had remained open.

Naughty materials

Puring Martinez, the arrested president and owner of the private school, told GMA television network she rented out the room to the Internet site operators to augment the income of the school because fees paid by students were not enough to cover costs.

She said she was aware that the Internet links sold can only be opened by a foreigner who will use his card and that the links lead to "naughty" materials.

Martinez' son, Tom, said the school had only 260 preschool, elementary and high school pupils, and that their permit to operate was valid. It was not clear why there was a discrepancy with the NBI information.

He said the Internet operation was owned by an American from Tennessee, who rented two rooms for $900 in a bungalow separate from the classrooms but within the school compound. All of the suspects arrested are Filipino, and the American's whereabouts were not clear.

The raid shows the extent of the task facing Philippine authorities in cracking down on child pornographers, who exploit weak law enforcement and increasing broadband Internet penetration to base operations in the country.

Gilbert Sosa, director of the national police's anti-cybercrime group said last month the Philippines was one of the top 10 sources of child pornography in the world, and that police have been co-operating with other countries to crack down on it.

'A computer lab'

Two other Internet porn operations in Quezon city were raided on Monday night. At least 22 people were arrested in those two raids and more than two dozen computers seized.

Aguto said they have yet to conduct a forensic investigation on the seized computers, but based on what they have gathered so far, the suspects will be charged with violating laws against child pornography and obscene publication of adult pornographic images.

More than 40 computers were seized as evidence during the raid late on Monday at the school in Metropolitan Manila's Muntinlupa city.

"It was like a computer lab inside the school". Aguto said in a telephone interview. "Even during daytime, when the pupils were there, they were using it for this kind of offense."

He said the site operators worked day and night, chatting online with clients and pretending to be women or girls depending on what the client wanted. They would then upload pictures and pre-recorded video of a nude girl or woman they claim to be.

Last month, Britain's national crime agency said child abuse investigators in Britain, the US and Australia had dismantled an organised crime group that streamed footage of child sexual abuse.

The ring abused impoverished children as young as 6, the agency said. Authorities made 29 arrests, including 11 people in the Philippines who had facilitated the crime. Some were members of the children's families.

- AP
Read more on:    philippines  |  child abuse  |  pornography
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.