The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) has crushed a Manila-based cybercrime syndicate composed of gay Filipinos engaging in sex or other pervert acts in front of webcams. They were being viewed online by their clients, majority of them Asians and Westerners involved in pedophilia and other sexual perversions, PNP-ACG Director, Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.

In a report to the PNP Chief, Director General Ricardo C. Marquez, Eleazar said that the raid in a unit at the 4th floor of #1143 Quiricada Street in Tondo, Manila last Friday resulted in the arrest of five gay members of the ring posing as women in front of webcams and doing sexual acts before their paying clients abroad.

One minor was also rescued by members of the PNP-ACG Cyber Response Unit during the service of Search Warrant Nr 16-25998 for violation of Republic Act 10175 issued by Judge Reynaldo A. Alhambra of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 53 around 7 p.m. last Friday. The minor has been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The suspected maintainer of the cybersex den, identified as Edmar Arguelles Reyes alias ‘Emay’, was arrested along with his ‘models-cum-sex workers’: Mark Anthony de la Cruz alias ‘Mauie,’ 23, of Caloocan City; Loyd Malicdem alias ‘Fiona,’ 20, of San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal; Justine Marcha alias ‘Aica,’ 20, also of San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal;  and John Syrille Galicia alias ‘Julia,’ 21, a resident of Seawall, Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila.

According to Eleazar, members of the PNP-ACG Cybercrime Response Unit led by PSupt. Darwin S. Miranda monitored the activities of the suspects through the website prior to the raid. During the actual operation, the official said that two of the suspects actually engaged in different sexual and perverted acts in front of the webcam with an ACG online operative who posed as a European pervert.

“Our online operative recorded the activities of the two female-looking suspects while they were wearing yellow and orange underwear and fondling themselves and showing their breasts and areola and playing with different sex gadgets,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar said two of the models identified as Marcha and Malicdem were found to be using the account names DREAMhotANGEL   and   SEDUCTIVEhornyANGEL respectively.

He said that Malicdem alias ‘Fiona’ was already known to the raiding team since  his  online  sexual activity at website had been previously recorded while the team was still building up a case against the cybersex ring.

Eleazar said that the suspects were receiving payments for their services through different money remittance services such as Western Union, Palawan Express, Cebuana Lhuiller, Smart Money MasterCard, Globe Beep MasterCard  and other payment systems such as Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard.

This   payment   system   is   integrated   with mass payout services and supported in more than 200 countries, Eleazar said. He said that payouts are available for use by the payee within two hours after availing of the system.

The funds can be used by the payee to make purchases online, in stores, and at ATMs  worldwide – wherever MasterCard is accepted. Eleazar said that their investigation also showed that the website is accessible to the public and most of their clients are foreigners.

“This website offers the services of women and gay men providing sexual exhibitions and online prostitution, which can be accessed initially through account registration. Payment rates vary on the sexual activities that the client had requested through private pay-per-view sessions.

Eleazar said that the electronic and documentary evidence seized during the raid are now under their safekeeping. The suspects are now facing charges for violations of Sections 4(c)1 (Cybersex) and 5(a) (Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime) of R.A. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012; Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or Immoral Doctrine, Obscene  Publications and Exhibitions and Indecent Shows; and R.A. 7610 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act before the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office.

Eleazar said they are conducting other investigations on similar cases involving Filipino gays and their pedophile contacts from abroad specifically the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

            The official said they need to act fast since the situation has become alarming as the country is now becoming a safe haven for cybercrime operators involved in cyber pornography, cybersex dens, online illegal gambling, credit card fraud and identity theft.  There is also the emergence of groups involved in so-called ‘sextortion’ in which suspects act in groups to create fake Facebook or Skype accounts and lure Westerners, Asians and other Filipinos to engage in online sex. Unknown to their preys, they record the sex act and later threaten to send the video to their targets’ families if their extortion demand is unheeded.