Pedophiles paid for child sexual abuse in Philippines

Published 2 July 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Europol headquarters in The Hague.

197 suspected pedophiles were arrested in a Europol operation. 20 of them live in Sweden and allegedly paid other pedophiles to perform and film sexual abuse of young children.

In a major operation led by Europol and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 197 suspected pedophiles were identified from countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The individuals allegedly paid pedophiles in the Philippines to sexually abuse children – some as young as three years old – and then broadcast the abuse live via webcams.

20 of the identified individuals live in Sweden, and police have seized large amounts of abuse material, including tens of thousands of chats, images and video clips, and the abuse is alleged to have taken place over a period of about 12 years.

“Growing industry”

The Swedes are now suspected of child rape or child sexual abuse. If convicted of the former, they face up to six years in prison. Whether the identified pedophiles also traveled to Asia to physically abuse children themselves is not yet clear, but police say this scenario is not entirely uncommon.

“Customers also travel to the Philippines to engage in the hands-on abuse of victimised children themselves”, they said.

“Live-streamed child sexual abuse is a growing industry, involving child traffickers in the Philippines and elsewhere who curate a vetted customer base of buyers who pay to watch the live-streamed abuse of children. Criminal buyers direct child traffickers to perform acts of sexual abuse on minor children in real-time during private webcam interactions”, Europol said in a press release.

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