MANILA, Philippines—A man wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcers in other countries for allegedly operating a worldwide child pornography website was arrested in central Mindanao on Wednesday, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said the suspect, Aldren Aumento, 27, had been under intensive Internet surveillance by the NBI-Cybercrimes Division led by head agent Ronald Aguto.
Aguto said that in 2010, FBI legal attaché James Nixon alerted the NBI about an unidentified subject engaged in distributing and selling child pornography materials under the GigaTribe username Wizardnine07 and using two e-mail addresses.
According to the NBI, GigaTribe is a free file-sharing program that allows users to create their own private peer-to-peer network of contacts.
Agent Filipinas Astrero said the suspect was paid through money couriers for the past four years. Records from a money courier showed that Aumento received at least P600,000 from various sources abroad.
Astrero said Aumento’s exact location was traced after police from Great Britain passed on an intelligence report about money sent to the suspect by an arrested sex offender.
Special Agent Joey Narciso, in an undercover operation, contacted email@example.com to track down Aumento’s location. He was sent photos of small boys being molested by the suspect and other boys.
Aguto said Aumento was arrested in his house at Rosary Heights II, San Pablo Village, Cotabato City, on Wednesday afternoon.
He said agents found a computer in the suspect’s room advertising child pornographic materials.
Aumento, a computer science graduate, admitted in an exclusive interview with the Inquirer that he had been operating the child pornography site since 2009.
He said he used village children aged between 3 and 12 years who were mostly from the neighborhood as his “models.”
“I paid them between P300 and P350 per session, and I told them not to say anything to anyone about it,” Aumento said.
He said that no one in his family knew about the illegal activity. “They just know I’m fond of children and I let them play with my computer. They had no idea what I was doing,” he said.
He added that customers detailed various requests and that sometimes he also “acted it out with the boys if the client wanted.” He said that “clients” paid him $250 or 225 euros for the service.
He said, however, that “a request by a client for an 8-month-old baby boy was too much for me to accommodate.”