MANILA - The Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) arrested on Thursday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) an American national who met a minor he befriended on Facebook.
Antonio Bounab landed in Manila 11 a.m. today to meet a 17-year old Filipina who was accompanied by a cop posing as the girl’s relative.
The WCPC was contacted by U.S. Homeland Security to investigate Bounab.
“Nagkaroon po sila ng information na allegedly na a certain U.S. national ang magta-travel dito sa Pilipinas coming from Incheon, Korea. Meron na silang dating holdings dito sa kaso na ito, may monitoring na sila, including iyung mga account na ginagamit ng suspect. At latest iyung recent na nakita nila pupunta siya sa Pilipinas kase may kausap siyang mga Pilipina na allegedly gusto niyang magkaroon ng sexual relationship at gusto niyang anakan,” said Chief Supt. William Macavinta, director of the PNP-Women and Children Protection Center.
(They received information that a certain U.S. national will be traveling to the Philippines from Incheon, Korea. They have past holdings of this case. They are monitoring him, including the accounts the suspect is using. The latest activity they tracked was that he will go to the Philippines because he is talking to a Filipina and he wants to have a sexual relationship with her, and have a child with her.)
According to the investigation conducted by the U.S. Homeland Security, Bounab’s Facebook chat account showed he asked for sensitive photos from the victim in exchange for cellphone, cash, and shopping once he arrives.
“It turned out, na-identify ng mga counterpart natin na itong tatlong kausap, nagre-range ang edad 16 to 17. Nagkainteres sila na i-refer sa amin ang kaso,” Macavinta said.
(Our counterparts were able to identify that the three persons he was talking to are aged 16 to 17. They referred the case to us.)
“Yung trend ngayon ng trafficking na tinatawag nating online sexual exploitation. Alam na nila kung saan sila pupunta eh. Pupunta sila sa dark web,” Macavinta added.
(This trent is called online sexual exploitation. They know where to go. They go to the dark web.)
The WCPC said the minors are from Clark, Caloocan City, and Cebu.
Authorities said the suspect may have victimized other minors.
"Sa pakikipag-contact niya sa babae, sinasabi niya na 'I’ll be arriving tomorrow, magkita tayo sa ganitong oras, darating ako, magkita tayo sa airport,'" Macavinta said.
(When talking to a woman, he says he will be arriving tomorrow, let's meet at this time, I will be there, let's meet at the airport.)
The WCPC said the operation was successful because of the cooperation of their foreign counterparts in stopping online sexual exploitation of children.
“It’s good na meron tayong mga ganitong partner agencies na counterpart natin na dedicated efforts na makapag-monitor ng ganitong conversation o chat na related sa child sex tourism,” Macavinta said.
(It's good that we have partner agencies who monitor these kinds of conversation or chats related to child sex tourism.)
Bounab will be charged with violation of RA 9208 or the expanded Anti Trafficking in Persons Act.