Aussie, Pinay partner nabbed
Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) - September 18, 2018 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — An Australian national and his Filipina live-in partner were arrested after authorities raided their house that was allegedly used as cyberporn hub in Pavia town of Iloilo.

Senior Superintendent Marlon Tayaba, Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) director, said suspects John Laffler, 69, and Gladys Degala, 21, a native of Mandurriao district in Iloilo City, fell to the police in a raid at the suspects’ rented house at Parc Regency Subdivision at Barangay Ungka 2 in Pavia at around 11 a.m. last September 15.

The raid was conducted based on a search warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court-7, and implemented by a composited team of operatives from the IPPO, Pavia Police Station, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), International Justice Mission (IJM), Department of Social Welfare and Development, Women Children Protection Center-Visayas, and the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit-6 (RACU-6).

Tayaba led the operation after IJM endorsed the information about the couple’s cybersex operations in their house. Police recovered mobile phones, three laptops, and WiFi routers from the couple’s house.

IJM is an international, non-governmental organization focused on human rights, law and law enforcement. It works to combat sex trafficking, child sexual assault, cybersex trafficking, forced labor slavery, property grabbing, and police abuse of power, and addresses citizenship rights of minorities.

Tayaba said IJM already checked on the couple’s operations by pretending as couple’s clients. The suspects allegedly used “models” with ages ranging from 13 to 16 years old and sold their nude photos. “They have been operating for about three weeks already before they were busted,” Tayaba said.

Because of their relatively new operation, Laffer and Degala have only gathered around 10 teenagers to act as models. Tayaba said that, after the couple’s arrest, the raiding team was able to locate and rescue the girls — aged 13, 14, and 16 — in La Paz district of Iloilo City and in the towns of Oton and Tigbauan in Iloilo province.

The suspects enticed the teenagers to have their nude photos taken in exchange for a certain amount. They then used these pictures to send to their clients abroad in exchange for a fee. “For photos, clients had to pay P5,000. Higher amount is needed if they wanted a live feed of nude models,” Tayaba said.

Before the raid, operatives contacted and asked the couple to have a live chat with their models, but they declined claiming the latter were not around at the time. Based on reports, Laffer has been staying in Iloilo for two years already, and was with Degala for only four months since.

Earlier, Laffer had another Filipina lover from Tigbauan town, and they were together for 18 months, Laffer allegedly trained Degala on how to do online transactions for the cybersex operations.

The arrested suspects will be charged for violations of the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law.

Tayaba said they are consulting now with a legal team if the arrested suspects could be charged under the R.A. 9208 (the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003), a penal law against human trafficking, sex tourism, sex slavery and child prostitution. (FREEMAN)

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