MANILA, Philippines — Forty-one suspects involved in cybersex schemes were arrested after they were caught red-handed during simultaneous operations of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group in three different locations in Valenzuela City and Batangas on Tuesday.
In a statement sent to reporters Wednesday, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, cited the reports of Police Brig. Gen. Robert Rodriguez, PNP-ACG Director, which said the suspects posed as legitimate call center representatives operating in commercial establishments in Paso de Blas, Lipa City, and a residential area in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Police investigations found that the cybersex syndicates targeted LGBT members by offering erotic massage services which they can only avail of after paying certain registration fees with their credit cards.
The PNP chief added that the suspects posed as young and attractive men and women based in the US. They reportedly blocked the victims’ online registration after taking at least 50 US dollars from each credit card account.
The police’s implementation of Warrants to Search, Seize and Examine Computer Data yielded several pieces of evidence including desktop computers that are set to be subjected to digital forensic examinations for further investigation.
Eleazar said the operation stemmed from information received from a concerned citizen via the E-ACCESS platform regarding suspicious call center activities in the aforesaid locations.
It was conducted by PNP-ACG was carried out in coordination with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center and the city police stations of Valenzuela, Lipa, Sto. Tomas.
The arrested suspects are now under the custody of Valenzuela City Police Station, Lipa City Police Station, and Sto. Tomas City Police Station.null
They face charges under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
“The arrest of cybercrime suspects only demonstrates the effective interaction and response of the community to our call through our implemented programs to speed up the arrest,” Eleazar said.
Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan