MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation recently arrested three people who allegedly were involved in an on-line prostitution and human trafficking activities, the agency’s top official said.
NBI director Nonnatus Rojas said they received information that the suspected mastermind of the prostitution ring, a 56-year-old man, had been running an online prostitution business, aided by a 21-year-old woman and a minor. (The Philippine Daily Inquirer is withholding the identities of the victims and the accused in compliance with Republic Act 9208, the law against human trafficking, to ensure the privacy of the victims and a fair trial for the accused as envisioned by the law.)
Rojas said the suspects operated a child prostitution business arranged on the Internet.
He said the suspects were arrested inside a room at the Cherry Hotel and Restaurant on Bocobo Ext., Ermita, Manila, by agents from the NBI-Anti-Human Trafficking Division.
He said the online prostitution website was chiefly operated by the 56-year-old man and was limited to members only.
To gain access, the NBI went through the website’s registration process to establish a membership account.
The website, the NBI said, was also a forum for online pimps and other sex workers.
Posted on the website were advertisements, photos, profiles and members’ “rules of engagement.’’
The transactions were conducted through e-mails and text messages before clients were allowed to meet the girls they liked.
The prostitution website also contained a list of phone numbers to be contacted by potential clients.
The NBI said the 21-year-old woman was the first to be arrested after she accompanied the girls to a designated room, where NBI agents installed a surveillance camera.
The woman then tagged the 56-year-old man as the mastermind and a minor who acted as a guide to the girls.
The suspects are now detained at the NBI detention cell and will be charged with child abuse and violation of the anti-trafficking law before the Department of Justice.