Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY – The head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the region revealed that a team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is expected to arrive anytime next week to conduct an investigation in cooperation with the NBI regional office on the proliferation of cyber sex and trafficking against person involving Filipinas and foreigners.
Lawyer Antonio Pagatpat told Leyte Samar Daily Express that this is a timely opportunity for the NBI and other law enforcement agencies to work with the FBI and find out how far women in the region are being victimized in cyber sex and in human trafficking.
“This is a good opportunity for us in the law enforcement to work with the FBI which will be coordinating with us so it would be easier for us to seek their assistance kung magkakaroon tayo ng problem involving cyber sex lalo na kung ang suspect ay isang Americano,” Pagatpat said.
The report said that the FBI has seen a significant increase in fraud involving exploitation of valid online banking credentials belonging to small and medium businesses, municipal governments and school districts. In a typical scenario, the targeted entity receives a “spear phishing” e-mail which either contains an infected attachment, or directs the recipient to an infected website.
Once the recipient opens the attachment or visits the website, malware is installed on their computer. Further reporting has shown that the transfers are directed to the bank accounts of willing or unwitting individuals within the United States. Most of those individuals have been recruited via work-at-home advertisements, or have been contacted after placing resumes on well-known job search websites. Those persons are often hired to “process payments”, or “transfer funds”. They are told they will receive wire transfers into their bank accounts. Shortly after funds are received, they are directed to immediately forward most of the money overseas via wire transfer services such as Western Union and Moneygram.
Customers who use online banking services are advised to contact their financial institution to ensure they are employing all the appropriate security and fraud prevention services their institution offers.
In the United States, Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has made information on banking securely online available.
Earlier, officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) confirmed that Region 8 is still among the regions that are source of human trafficking victimizing women and children.
With the government’s effort to focus on this program, the prosecutions, the judiciary, the Philippine National Police and the NBI are now working hand-in-hand in the campaign against trafficking in persons to protect women and children.
The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 instituted policies aimed at eliminating trafficking in persons, especially women and children, established the necessary institutional mechanism for the protection and support of trafficked persons, and provided penalties for its violations.
Under section 10:
Penalties and sanctions. – The following penalties and sanctions are established for the offense enumerated in this Act:
(a) Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts enumerated in Section 4 shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twenty (20) years and a fine of not less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) but not more than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00);
(b) Any person found guilty of committing any of the act enumerated in Section 5 shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);
(c) Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking under Section 6 shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not more than Five million pesos (P5,000,000.00);
(d) Any person who violates Section 7 hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);
(e) If the offender is a corporation, partnership, association, club, establishment or any juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the owner, president, partner, manager, and/or any responsible officer who participated in the commission of the crime or who shall have knowingly permitted or failed to prevent its commission.
For several months this year the NBI regional office here has arrested six American nationals violating this law.
A month ago, another American national together with his live-in partner who happened to be from Caibiran, Biliran has pleaded guilty.
The said foreign national and his live-in partner together with 13 other minor children were arrested in a raid conducted by the NBI operatives at their rented house in Algo homes this city for the said cyber sex business using minors. (MIRIAM GARCIA DESACADA)