By GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN de Oro City–Seven persons were arrested following a raid of an alleged cybersex den in Gingoog City on Wednesday.
Armed with a search warrant issued by a local judge, operatives from the Gingoog police, a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, and Anti-Cyber Crime Group-10 (ACG-10) agents, raided an apartment in Barangay 13, Gingoog, which led to the arrest of seven persons.
Apprehended were Roel Ruiz, Gerald Pinol, Robert Higana, Geovani Mandin, Gener Pacot, Hermenegildo Escano, and a woman. It was reported that the male suspects are homosexuals.
Confiscated inside the apartment were seven laptops, four thumb drives, 12 mobile phones, two pocket wifi devices, a subscriber identity module (SIM) card, two ATM cards, two modems, P7,000 in cash and other items.
In a phone interview Wednesday noon, Superintendent Roel Lamiing, Gingoog city police director, said the modus operandi of the male suspects would include enticing their prospective victims, mostly foreign nationals, by creating fake social media accounts and posing as sexy and beautiful women.
Lamiing said the suspects would establish a relationship with the foreigners and after being virtually intimate with them, would engage them in online sex and pornography.
The suspects will then record the victims doing sexual acts and post these videos on an internet sharing site, specifically Youtube.
“They (suspects) will use these videos to extort money from the victims,” he said, adding that they payment demanded by the perpetrators varies. In some instances, they would ask for P60,000, in others, P100,000. Payments from outside the country are made through money couriers.
Lamiing said they still have to determine the nationalities of the victims.
According to Lamiing, the ACG-10 is conducting forensic examinations on the seized electronic gadgets to extract additional information regarding the operation of the group.
He said the police are still determining if the suspects belong to a cybercrime syndicate as they have been informed that the perpetrators have companions in Luzon.
Lamiing said they are also digging deeper into the group’s operation to find out who finances the suspects.
The suspects will be facing charges for violation of RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, he said.
He added the arrested individuals were brought to the city prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings.
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