Police crack Philippine live-streaming paedophile ring
MANILA (AFP) - Police around the world Thursday said they had dismantled a paedophile ring that streamed live sexual abuse of Filipino children as young as six over the Internet, with victims' parents involved in some cases.
Fifteen victims aged between six and 15 have been rescued as part of Operation Endeavour, Britain's National Crime Agency said, adding that 29 people had been arrested, including 11 in the Philippines. Three other ongoing investigations into paedophiles who pay to see abuse via webcams have identified 733 suspects, the agency added, warning of a "significant and emerging threat" in developing nations.
Under Operation Endeavour British police worked alongside counterparts in the Philippines and Australia. "This is part of our intensified efforts to end this scourge... of live streaming of child sexual abuse" to order by foreign paedophiles, said Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, head of the Philippine police's anti-cybercrime unit.
"This has become a major problem in the Philippines, where in some cases even the parents are involved," he told AFP, declining to give specific details that could compromise ongoing operations.