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Child porn traced to 3 Lapu women

13:03 Aug 14 2015 Cebu

View original report on: Philippines

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Three women, two of them mothers, were arrested yesterday in Lapu-Lapu City for allegedly taking part in child pornography using photos of their children and other minors.

The suspects were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 during simultaneous raids at about 6 a.m. in barangays Soong and Babag.

Close to 20 minors, including two children of one of the suspects, and the 22-year-old daughter of another suspect, were rescued during the operations.

The women suspects had dealt with Patrick Clohessy, an Irish national, who was arrested in London four years ago for suspected cyberpornography.

One of them, Mia, married Clohessay in 2009 but parted ways a year later.

The National Crime Agency of London discovered several photos of nude boys and girls in Clohessy’s possession when he was arrested in the United Kingdom. The subjects in the photos were traced to Lapu-Lapu City.

London law enforcers sought the assistance of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the International Justice Mission (IJM) which referred the matter to the NBI 7.

After nearly three months of surveillance operations, the NBI found out that the three women were engaged in child pornography as well.

Armed with a search warrant, agents raided the houses of the suspects early morning Thursday.
Rescued from Mia’s house in barangay Babag were her two children aged 4 and 6, who are offspring with another man, as well as 10 boys, reportedly her relatives.

Mia, 31, (not her real name) said she married Clohessy in Manila. She said he asked her to look for children who were willing to pose naked for a fee but that she refused.

“Iya ra diay ko nga gigamit (He just wanted to use me for his enterprise),” she said yesterday but denied taking part in the business.

In barangay Soong, the NBI rescued the 22-year-old daughter of Jane, Clohessy’s direct contact in Cebu.

The NBI also raided the house of Ana, Clohessy’s former live-in partner. The NBI found lewd photos of minors there.

Present during the raid were Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane, head of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), and officers of the International Justice Mission.

The victims were immediately brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for questioning and counseling.

NBI Assistant Director Augusto Isidoro said they would file charges against the three women as well as Clohessy for violating Republic Act 9208 or the ?Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Since the victims are minors, the offense falls under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense if evidence of guilty is strong.

A court conviction would mean life imprisonment and a P2 million to P5 million fine. Clohessy remains detained in the UK.

NBI chief Isidoro said d parents should realize the long-term impact of exposing their kids to pornography.

“Yes, you may be poor but never do harm to your children. Imagine, the lewd photos of those minors were circulated in London. When these children grow up, what will their children and their grandchildren say?” he said.

In an interview at the NBI office, Mia said Jane introduced her to Clohessy in 2009.

“My husband and (Jane) have been involved in child pornography for sometime. My name was just dragged in the issue because I’m his wife,” Mia explained in Cebuano.

When the NBI raided Jane’s residence in barangay Soong and rescued her 22-year-old daughter, they found a lewd photo of the daughter as well as receipts of foreign money remittances indicating she was dealing with clients abroad.

Close to 20 persons were rescued by the NBI in simultaneous raids that started 6 a.m. yesterday.

Jane said she was introduced to Clohessy by one of her friends in Cordova town and they kept in touch online through Yahoo Mail.
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