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Police bring two girls to safety from online sexual exploitation in the Philippines

October 2021

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – Philippine police brought two girls to safety and arrested a 39-year-old woman in an operation against online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).

IJM and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supported the operation conducted by Philippine national and local police alongside social services.

Two girls – the suspect’s 16-year-old cousin and 8-year-old niece – were taken to a designated shelter after receiving urgent trauma-informed care.

Police Brigadier General Alessandro Abella, Chief of the Women and Children’s Protection Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP-WCPC), had this to say of the suspect:

“She was supposed to be taking care of them, but instead she did the opposite and exploited them online for monetary gain. We won’t stop until all are free from online sexual exploitation of children.”

The case originated in the United States, when FBI agents arrested an American national on suspicion of facilitating crimes of online sexual exploitation involving minors.

The case was then referred to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC), of which IJM is a member, for investigation into the local trafficker involved.

Police Colonel Maria Sheila T. Portento said:

[This] is indeed a crime with no borders. Inter-agency cooperation with our foreign counterparts is vital to bring justice for all victims in both parts of the world.

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