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March 21, 2017Manila, PhilippinesChild Exploitation

3 arrested in Manila on charges of child exploitation and offering children for sex to an undercover HSI special agent

MANILA, Philippines — Two metro Manila women, and a man face charges for exploiting three children for online sex shows and offering them for sexual abuse for a fee. The arrests follow an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation.

Danica Agustin, 31, Mary Ann Buan, 43 and Jagvie Lopez, 21, were taken into custody March 19 by the NBI with assistance of HSI Manila. The arrests resulted in HSI and the NBI rescuing two children, ages 8 and 13 years old.

Beginning on or about May 16, 2016, the women allegedly contacted the HSI undercover agent via online social media, and offered for a fee to provide sexually explicit live webcam shows by underage female children in return for cash payments. Specifically, one of the women offered the UCA children ranging in ages from 6 to 11. After several online payments the women offered to meet the UCA in person and offered access to the children for money.

“Infiltrating these online predators, who commit cruel and unforgivable crimes against innocent children, is a top priority for HSI. The rescue of these children by HSI and the NBI speaks volumes about our international collaboration to protect the innocent and arrest the worst of the worst in our society,” said Ransom Avilla, HSI attaché in Manila. “These heinous crimes have a devastating impact on the young victims. HSI will continue to pursue child predators to hold them accountable for their reprehensible actions.”

One of the women allegedly offered the HSI undercover agent to access to her social media page to confirm her legitimacy as a child sex trafficker and child abuser. The UCA found numerous images of child exploitation embedded in various emails.

This is the second arrest of a child predator in Manila in the last week. On Thursday, March 16 the NBI with a referral from HSI Manila arrested two Filipina sisters, Arlene and Emelinda Aringo, who allegedly offered their children to the HSI UCA for a fee. The arrests resulted in the rescue of 13 minor children.

This investigation is in collaboration with HSI Portland, Maine, Operation Corregidor which focuses specifically on the live webcam streaming of child sexual exploitation in the Philippines, and HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

Updated: 03/22/2017