By Jennifer Rendon
Criminal charges were filed against 17 Chinese nationals who were allegedly behind the cybersex den operation in Iloilo City.
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., Iloilo City Police Office – City Intelligence Unit (ICPO-CIU) chief, said charges for violation of Section 4 (C) (1) and Section 4 (B) (2) of Republic Act No. 10175 (The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).
Benitez said the suspects are liable under Section 4 (C) (1) for cybersex or “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.”
On the other hand, Section 4 (B) (2) is about Computer-related Fraud or “the unauthorized input, alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or interference in the functioning of a computer system, causing damage thereby with fraudulent intent.”
Benitez said the forensic investigation showed that the suspects were also into identity theft, thus the filing of computer-related fraud.
The case was filed afternoon of Nov. 6 before the Iloilo City Prosecutors Office.
The group was represented by a Cebu-based legal counsel, Benitez said.
It is likely that they will post bail anytime soon.
On the possibility that they could go back to China, Benitez said they would make some representation through the PNP Directorate for Intelligence on what to do.
It can be noted that the 17 Chinese nationals were arrested early morning of Nov. 4 at Jaro, Iloilo City.
The 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.
Recovered from the scene were several units of computers, mobile phones, routers, and SIM cards.
Benitez said the group could have started their operation six months ago but were only monitored around a month ago.
They are now detained at the ICPS3 lock-up cell.