During a press conference, NBI Cybercrime Division Chief Ronald Aguto said Lyan Tandeg and Shellina Atad, the sources of the photos, were arrested Nov. 4 after meeting with undercover NBI agents to pimp an 8-year-old girl, according to an Inquirer report on Monday, Nov. 9.
Both have been charged with qualified child trafficking and syndicated child pornography and are currently being detained in NBI jail. “Tandeg and Atad offered to the undercover agents the minor and showed them the nude photos of the other minors stored in their flashdrive,” Aguto said, according to Inquirer. The NBI began its probe into the matter after the FBI provided information about child pornography operations in the Philippines.
The FBI also gave the NBI a copy of the Yahoo Messenger chat conversation between Tandeg and an American pilot who was arrested for possessing the naked photos on his tablet, Michael Carey Clemans. The chat reportedly contained evidence of child prostitution and child pornography. “Working on that lead, the cybercrime operatives conducted further investigation and surveillance operations on Tandeg and her accomplices to confirm the veracity of the report and to determine the propriety of a counteraction,” Aguto said.
After monitoring the suspects, the NBI found that Tandeg and Atad peddle children ages 8 to 12 years old for sex to foreign clients for P3,000 per night. Undercover agents who dealt with the two were offered a child for a nude photo shoot and sexual services, Aguto said. The agents asked Tandeg and her accomplices to meet at a coffee shop in Pampanga on Nov. 4.
They also asked Tandeg to bring one girl to the meeting. After Tandeg and Atad provided the agents with a flash drive containing nude photos in exchange for P500, they were arrested.
The NBI rescued three girls after the operation and turned them over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the International Justice Mission, a non-government human rights group, Philstar reported. Aguto said parents of the victims thought suspects were recruiting their children as models.
He added that the NBI is conducting a manhunt operation on a man named Jeffrey Ganuten, who is allegedly instructing Tandeg.
Source: Nov 10 Asian Journal