By Jennifer P. Rendon
Photos Courtesy of ICPO
Seventeen Chinese nationals in an alleged cybersex den operation were arrested early morning of Nov. 4 at Jaro, Iloilo City.
The Iloilo City Police Office-City Intelligence Unit (ICPO-CIU), PNP Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit-6 (RACU-6) and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center carried out the operation against the Chinese nationals who were staying at a rented house in 6th Street, Lawaan Village in Barangay Balantang, Jaro district.
Armed with a search warrant, police and CICC operatives raided the area around 4:10 a.m. on Saturday for alleged violation of Section 4 (C) (1) of Republic Act No. 10175 (The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).
Section 4 (C) (1) defines cybersex as “the willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.”
Recovered from the scene were:
* 24 computer units;
* two switch hubs TP link 24 port;
* two routers (Huawei black/reyee);
* four computer units without keyboard mouse;
* an Acer projector
* a monitor;
* two Systems units;
* a DVR HIK Vision
* a TP Link router;
* Converge modem;
* a computer system;
* 49 various mobile phones;
* a bundle of pre-registered SIM cards; and
* unopened four boxes of SIM cards.
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., ICPO-CIU chief, said the group may have started their operation six months ago, but authorities caught wind of their racket around a month ago.
In carrying out their cybersecurity operations, the group allegedly invited girls to go to the house.
The moment they enter the premises, the girls will be handed a mobile phone, and directed to proceed to a room. They will then perform lewd acts for the suspects’ clients.
Benitez said the group also has pre-recorded videos of the women that they could play for some clients.
The women were paid through mobile wallets.
“No cash is apparently involved,” Benitez said.
So far, there is no evidence that indicates that the group is using minors to do obscene activities.
“But we could only confirm that once the forensic investigation is over,” he said.
Meanwhile, Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, believed that the group could also be engaged in online dating and romance scams, identity theft, and fraud.
There were pieces of evidence showing that they were communicating with a Spanish-speaking woman.
Police investigators are looking at the possibility that there could be other Chinese nationals who were involved but were not around during the raid.
It was gathered that the suspects hired three Filipina women to do the household chores and four men to act as driver-security personnel.
But their movements were limited, as they were not allowed to enter several areas of the house.
Benitez said they appeared to have no involvement in the suspects’ operation.