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Jumaat, 12 Mei 2017

Big child webcam sex bust in Philippines

In this April 20, 2017 photo, suspected child webcam cybersex operator, David Timothy Deakin, with his hands tied behind his back during a raid by investigators, sits on his bed where he handles online sharing of videos of children engaging in sexual acts in Mabalacat, Philippines. (AP photo)

MABALACAT, Philippines -- The suspected paedophile could see people banging on his front door through his security cameras. Were they neighbours? Cops?

One had letters on her jacket. As David Timothy Deakin googled “What is NBI?'' from the laptop on his bed, the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation smashed their way into his cybersex den.

Children's underwear, toddler shoes, cameras, bondage cuffs, fetish ropes, meth pipes and stacks of hard drives and photo albums cluttered the stuffy, two-bedroom townhouse. Pencilled on the wall, someone had scrawled “My Mom and Dad love me'' and a broken heart. In his computer were videos and images of young boys and girls engaged in sex acts.

“Why is everyone asking about children coming into my house?'' said Mr Deakin, 53, his wrists bound with a zip tie.

Mr Deakin's arrest April 20 reveals one of the darkest corners of the internet, where paedophiles in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia pay facilitators on the other side of the world to sexually abuse children, even babies, directing their moves through online livestreaming services.

The relatively new crime of webcam sex tourism is spreading rapidly, with new digital technologies sparking what the United Nations calls an “alarming growth of new forms of child sexual exploitation online''. The FBI says it's epidemic, and that at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online.

Almost every case stems from the Philippines, where good English speakers, increased internet connections and widespread international cash transfer systems combine with widespread poverty and easy access to vulnerable kids. There have been as many as three busts a week there this spring. The youngest victim ever, rescued a few weeks ago, was an infant, two months old. Most are under 12.

This spring The Associated Press watched a raid, rescue and launch of a major investigation that continues to play out on both sides of the world.

“This should serve as a warning,'' said NBI Anti-human trafficking chief Janet Francisco, who leads the case. “We will really catch them, with the help of our foreign counterparts. We will really put them in jail and they will die in jail.''


Bare-chested and slick with sweat, his breath sour and glasses foggy, Mr Deakin watched agents --including FBI computer analysts -- crouch on his bed over open computers, rushing to find and preserve hidden files.

The tip that led authorities to Mr Deakin came, as they often do, when an online international money transfer service notified an American internet provider about a suspicious account. Western Union, PayPal, and others have reported concerns in the past -- business names in this case are being withheld because of the ongoing investigation. Records in Mr Deakin's town house included debit cards for money transfer services, including Smart Money and Payoneer.

The raid began just before dawn, as seven vanloads of police, investigators, lawyers and social workers rolled out of Manila, past rice paddies and water buffalos, and into a town that was once a large US military base, now a major red light district. The vans passed Fields Avenue, a notorious street lined with bars, strip clubs and massage parlours; shops advertise Viagra and lingerie-clad women beckon customers.

When they reached Mr Deakin's apartment, a small cadre went to his door. Even as they burst in, he was streaming illicit content through the Tor network, which disguised his identity. Agents said he had a webpage open to wipe his phone clean. They tied him up with the first thing they could grab, an iPhone charging cord, before he could hit the button.

“I'm a file pack rat”, said Mr Deakin. “I've got files of frigging everything”.

AP and investigators asked him repeatedly why he had images of children engaged in sexual acts on his computer and bondage and fetish tools in his apartment.

“I'm just a costumer'', he said at first, as if the leather wrist restraints and ropes in the second bedroom were just for dress-up.

“I'm schizophrenic, you know”, he later told AP, looping his finger at his temple.

He described a series of houseguests, people he let crash in his small place from down the street, other countries. Perhaps “some Danish guy'' used his computer.

And this: “There was no children in front of the cam in my house, not even dressed, as far as I know, not even with their frigging mothers as far as I know.''

At one point, he told AP the images might have inadvertently slipped in when he downloaded massive files using BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a data tool used legitimately by academics and artists, but also by child pornographers and other criminals because large amounts of digital content can be moved and sorted. FBI agents looking for abusers search BitTorrent to spot people sharing exploitive images.

Hours after his arrest, wrists tied behind his back, Mr Deakin grew nervous.RED MORE



-Bangkok Post


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