Philippines arrests German national on suspicion of child sex abuse

MANILA (DPA) - A 41-year-old German national has been arrested in the Philippines for allegedly sexually abusing children and distributing pornographic materials on the Internet, police said on Thursday (July 11).

The German national was apprehended on Wednesday inside his house in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu province, 580 kilometres south of Manila, where police said they found child pornography stored on his electronic devices.

The suspect's two-year-old son was among the children who were seen in sexually explicit images on laptops and cameras, said police Colonel Romeo Perigo, head of the regional women and children protection unit.

Police put the German national under surveillance after receiving a tip from the Australian government that the suspect had been producing pornographic images of Filipino children since 2017, Col Perigo said.

Police were withholding the identity of the German national to protect his son.

The arrest "shows the global nature of the crime of online sexual exploitation of children", Col Perigo told reporters.

"We are fully committed to arresting not only the local online traffickers, but also foreigners residing in the Philippines who are exploiting our children online."

The suspect has been living in Lapu-Lapu City since October 2018 and has a Filipino partner, police said.

His son has been removed from their home and turned over to the city's social welfare office.

Criminal charges for alleged human trafficking, child abuse and violations of the country's cyber crime law are being prepared against the suspect, police added.