Europe’s most wanted nabbed
CEBU, Philippines — Europe’s most wanted online child sex offender was arrested by the joint operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police in Cebu City last April.
Nelson Siacor Torayno, 32, Filipino, was arrested in his rented room in Barangay Luz where ‘thousands’ of images and videos of children being sexually abused by an adult were recovered.
Torayno’s arrest was kept under wraps for three months upon the request of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) because of several follow up operations.
The International Justice Mission (IJM) described Torayno’s arrest as the biggest made by cross-border agencies since the establishment of the PICACC coordinating body.
Torayno is accused of assaulting his victims, filming the attacks, and selling the videos on the dark web – placing him on top of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation or Europol’s most wanted list of sexual offenders.
The arrest was also made possible through the support of the Australian Federal Police, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency, and the IJM. Torayno is now detained at the Cebu City Jail for charges of production and distribution of child sexual exploitation materials.
The IJM said a total of eight children, including neighbors and acquaintances of the suspect, had been rescued to date.
On the day Torayno was arrested, two girls in Cebu City reported to the barangay officials and claimed to have been abused by the suspect as well as three other children. The five victims from Cebu City, aged 3 to 11, are now undergoing post-trauma intervention from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Aside from the five children in Cebu City, a 10-year-old boy was also rescued in Liloan, Cebu on the same day Torayno fell into the hands of the authorities. The boy said he was lured to a secluded location after he was scouted in a computer shop. Torayno gained his trust by repeatedly paying for his rentals.
On the following day, two 8-year-old boys in Iligan City, also alleged victims of Torayno, were likewise rescued.
According to IJM, the Australian police played a key role in the arrest of the suspect. Torayno was tracked from the records referred by the Queensland Police Service to Australian police who forwarded the information to the NBI and the PNP in September 2018.
The PNP and NBI secured a search warrant on April 11 from Regional Trial Court Branch 11 in Cebu City. The search warrant issued by Judge Ramon Daomilas, Jr. paved the way for Torayno’s arrest.
NBI Anti- Human Trafficking Division chief Atty. Janet Francisco said Torayno’s arrest was a proof of their commitment to the fight against online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).
“It was a group effort, and a clear demonstration of how collaboration works, to our advantage. Certainly, there are others like him out there waiting for the opportunity to prey on helpless children, but one thing is more certain, that we are likewise waiting for the opportunity to get them!” Francisco said.
PNP Women and Children Protection Center chief Police Brigadier General William Macavinta said he was ashamed that a Filipino topped the Europol’s list of sexual offenders who sexually abused Filipino children.
“The message is very clear. Regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or wherever he is, the WCPC will support working under PICACC to ensure global cooperation and response until the Philippines is protected from those who victimize our innocent children using the internet,” Macavinta said.
The online sexual exploitation of children violates Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act which comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million.
It also violates RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and RA 7610 or the Child Abuse Law, each with penalties equivalent to 12 to 40 years imprisonment.-– FPL (FREEMAN)